Religion Past and Present (RPP) is a complete, updated English translation of the 4th edition of the definitive encyclopedia of religion worldwide. the peerless Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG). Including the latest developments in research, Religion Past and Present encompasses a vast range of subjects connected with religion. This great resource, now at last available in English, continues the tradition of deep knowledge and authority relied upon by generations of scholars in religious, theological, and biblical studies. Religion Past and Present indisputably belongs to the small class of essential reference works.
• RGG has been a standard reference work since the publication of the first edition in 1908.
• Strongly international, cross-cultural and ecumenical, written by over 3,000 authors from 88 countries
• Covers an unparalleled breadth of subject matter in theological and biblical studies
• Up-to-date research and bibliographies make it an indispensable resource for all levels of users
• Interdisciplinary articles cover a wide range of topics from history, archaeology, liturgy, law, bible, music, visual arts, politics, social sciences, natural sciences, ethics, and philosophy.
• The 4th edition of RGG, the basis of the RPP translation, includes hundreds of new entries on Eastern religions and other religious subjects. The editors of RPP have added a number of articles and revised others for a global English-speaking readership.
• Short definitions and cross-references enable quick and easy searching
• Over 15,000 entries and 8 million words
• 13 volumes and an index
'...imposante übersetzungstechnische, organisatorische und editorische Leistung, ohne die in solches Großprojekt nicht hätte realisiert werden können. Es bleibt zu hoffen, dass die RPP in der Tat dazu beitragen kann, den Dialog zwischen deutschsprachiger und anglophoner Theologie zu befördern.'
The latest volumes in the steady publication of this series are to be welcomed. Throughout, we have good translations that bring predominantly German scholarship on a wide range or literary, geographical and social themes as well as moral topics to a greater readership. [...] general articles [...] and helpful snapshots of religion in a number of countries [...] and cities reveal perceptive journalistic insights. [..]The volumes encourage serendipitous and casual browsing.'
J.K. Elliott, Novum Testamentum 54 (2012)
'One cannot fail to be impressed......Using it as a reference source and 'testing' its qualities, the depth of scholarship, the frame of reference for assumptive knowledge, the clarity of discussion (it does not read like a translation), and the continual surprises at its adventurous coverage keep one going back and back time and time again....libraries will want to get the English version simply because it more successfully than ever opens up the rich resources here to a global readership for whom English is a lingua franca.'
Stuart Hannabuss, Philosophy and Religion, 2007
'As is to be expected from Brill, this volume is magnificently produced...the scope of the selection of entries and the scope of the individual contributions themselves is indeed unequaled in theological reference works in the English language, especially because Wirkungsgeschichte is recognized as an important tool for biblical exegesis. Anyone who reads through these volumes will have learned an immense amount about subjects that are both central and peripheral, generally important and esoteric, as befits an encyclopedia that seeks to provide universal coverage of topics. Because Religion Past and Present provides quick, usually reliable information in a dense, concise form on an immense number of entries (15,000 of all 13 volumes), it is indeed an indispensable resource for libraries, scholars, and pastors alike.'
Eckhard J. Schnabel, Bulletin for Biblical Research 19.4 2
Review of first five volumes of RPP:
It is by any reckoning a remarkable achievement; both in the original and in its English-language version it is surely destined to remain a standard point of reference for at least a couple of decades. [...] The English is generally excellent; [...] The physical production of the volumes is to a very high standard; it is durably bound, set in an excellent typeface for maximum readability, and maps and plates are clearly presented. [...] RPP is [...] a splendid achievement, which amply fulfils its aims. For scope, penetration to the essentials, concision, balance and scholarly judgement it has no rival in English. For the wider community of research in Europe and North America, and in theological cultures still shaped by them, it is an outstanding testimony to the close scholarly relations of theology and religious studies, and to their importance for the academic and ecclesial publics.'
John Webster, Theologische Literaturzeitung 137 (2012) 9