'Perhaps one may wonder whether encyclopedias should still appear in our internet era. I think that sound scholarly work still has a future and should be diffused by competent academic publishers. I have made us of RGG4/RPP articles for many university courses [...], utilising it as the very first introduction to the subject matter. All my students readily admitted that no internet source,[...] could rival the compactness and expertise of the RGG4/RPP entries.'
Johannes van Oort, University of Pretoria, Vigiliae Christianae 69 (2015)
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
'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, 2009
i>'Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (RGG), recognized as the most comprehensive and authoritative existing guide to the study of religion, has been the gold standard of European encyclopedias of religion and the standard of excellence in reference works in religion for almost a century. The way in which the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are reflected in the previous three German editions of RGG has not been matched by any other document in the history of religious and theological scholarship. It has carefully illuminated a vast range of religion-connected subjects for the German-speaking world.
The fourth edition of this encyclopedia, recently published in English under the title Religion Past and Present (RPP), is an extension within this tradition of German excellence and scholarship. RPP is a monumental piece of scholarship!
The publication of the new fourth edition of this encyclopedia in English finally gives the English-speaking world access to its wealth of information. RPP should soon become as essential for readers of English, as it has long been for those who read German. It should be regarded as an essential purchase for any academic library and would also be a worthwhile investment for many interested individuals. Unlike scores of other books, these volumes will permanently affect the course of scholarship in religion. We are sincerely grateful to every contributor.'
Dirk van der Merwe, University of South Africa Pretoria, South Africa RBL 2008
'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
'The decision taken by Brill to publish an English edition makes the vast scholarship it contains accessible to a much wider audience.
..this will be a reference item that all serious theological libraries must possess. ..contains some extensive and breath-taking articles. ...Overall this is a highly significant reference work that will be widely used and cited."
Paul Foster, Expository Times 9, 2008
'For many decades successive editions of Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart have carefully illuminated a vast range of religion-connected subjects for German-speaking populations. Now with this translation and re-working of the new fourth edition, Religion Past and Present opens those riches to the English-speaking world. Learned writing from a great number of experts on all phases of Christianity - and also of other religions - along with painstaking preparation by a team of militantly careful editors has resulted in an indispensable work of reference. "RPP" should soon become as essential for readers of English as "RGG" has long been among readers of German.'
Mark A. Noll, McManis Professor of Christian Thought Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.