Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia

Vedanta Society.

Extension in the US of the Ramakrishna Mission (see Hinduism, 7). Resulted from lectures on Vedanta philos. (see Brahmanism, 4) delivered 1894 in NYC by Vivekananda.* Organized and inc. 1898. Grew to 13 centers in the US 1973. Claims no attempt to form a new sect or creed; tries to set forth the end of wisdom and how it is attained and to give religion a philos. and scientific basis.


(from Skt. veda, “knowledge”). Sacred Hindu writings of ancient India. Rig-Veda (“praise of knowledge”) is oldest of the 4 Vedas in the narrower sense; said to date from perhaps ca. 1000 BC. See also Brahmanas; Brahmanism; Sacred Literature; Shastras; Vedic Religion

Vedelius, Nikolaus

(Nicolaus; d. 1642). Prof. Franeke and Deventer, Neth.; opposed S. Episcopius* and J. Musäus.

Vega, Andreas de

(1498–1549). B. Segovia, Sp.; prof. Salamanca 1532–38; took part in Council of Trent,* esp. in formulating decrees on Biblical canon and justification.

Vega, Lope de

(Lope Félix de Vega Carpio; pseudonyms El Licenciado Tome de Burguillos and Gabriel Padecopeo; 1562–1635). “El Fénix de España”; dramatic poet; b. Madrid, Sp.; educ. Alcalá de Henares; in military service; priest 1614; confidential officer of the Inquisition.* Works include Los Pastores de Belén; Romances a la Pasión.

Vegetius, Bartoldt

(1654–1742). Luth. pastor in Russ.; educ. Bergedorf (part of Hamburg since 1938), Ger.; teacher Bergedorf; pastor for Luth. workers in foundry near Moscow, Russ., 1684; pastor Moscow 1689; supt. Luth. ch. in Russ. 1711.

Veghe, Johannes

(ca. 1430–1504). B. Münster, Westphalia; exponent of Devotio* moderna; active in Münster and Rostock. Works include Gheystlike jagd; sermons.

Vehse, Carl Eduard

(1802–June 18, 1870). Scholar, hist.; b. near Dresden, Ger.; studied law; curator Saxon state archives 1833; became adherent of M. Stephan* Sr.; to US 1839 with Saxon immigrants (see Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, The, II); returned to Ger. disillusioned December 1839. Works include Die Stephan'sche Auswanderung nach Amerika (Dresden, 1840; tr. R. Fiehler, The Stephanite Emigration to America [Marion R. Winkler Tucson, Ariz., 1975]). See also Altenburg Debate.

Veit, Friedrich

(1861–1948). B. Augsburg, Ger.; educ. Erlangen and Leipzig; itinerant preacher in W Upper Bav. 1884. Pastor Schwarzenbach, Upper Franconia, NE Bav., 1887; Munich 1892, dean 1905, mem. high consistory 1915 and its pres. 1917. Worked for unification of Ger. chs. in gen. and Luth. union in particular.

Velazquez, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y

(Velásquez; 1599–1660). Painter; b. Seville, Sp.; to Madrid 1622; court painter 1623. Works include Adoration of the Magi; Christ in the House of Martha; Crucifixion; Christ and the Pilgrims of Emmaus.

Velthusen, Johann Kaspar

(Caspar; 1740–1814). B. Weimar, Ger.; educ. Göttingen; private tutor Bremervorde; deacon Hameln 1767; chaplain London 1770; prof. Kiel 1775, Helmstödt (Helmstedt) 1778, Rostock 1789; gen. supt. of the duchies of Bremen and Verden 1791; influenced by Enlightenment*; sent C. A. G. Stork* to North Carolina, with passage paid by pub. of religious and school books.

Veltwick, Gerhard

(Gerard Veltwyckius; Veltwyk; Gerhard Veltwick v. Rabenstein; Dinius Gerard Volckruck; 16th c.). Orientalist, theol., statesman; counselor of Charles* V. Works include Shevilé Thohu. See also Regensburg Book.

Venatorius, Thomas

(Gechauf; Jähauf; ca. 1488–1551). Humanist; b. Nürnberg, Ger.; friend of W. Pirckheimer*; helped reform Rothenburg. Works include De virtute christiana.

Venetian School of Church Music.

16th-c. school of composers centered in Venice, It.; in some ways freer than the traditional. See also Gabrieli, Andrea; Praetorius, Hieronymus; Willaert, Adrian.

Veni, Creator Spiritus.

Lat. hymn variously assigned (e.g., to Ambrose,* Charlemagne,* Charles* II, Gregory I [see Popes, 4], Rabanus* Maurus); tr. into Ger. by M. Luther* (“Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist”); various Eng. translations.


Verses of Ps 95 (Vulgate 94) commonly assoc. with matins*; named after first word in Lat..

Venturini, Karl Heinrich Georg

(1768–1849). Ev. theol.; b. Brunswick, Ger.; taught Helmstedt and Copenhagen; pastor Hordorf 1807. Makes Jesus instrument of Essenes. Works include Natärliche Geschichte des grossen Propheten von Nazareth.

Verbeck, Guido Herman Fridolin

(Verbeek; 1830–98). B. Zeist, Holland; brought up under Moravian influence; studied engineering at Utrecht; to US 1852; educ. Auburn* Theol. Sem.; (Dutch) Ref. Ch. miss. to Jap. 1859–98; instructor Nagasaki; head Imperial U., Tokyo; attached to Jap. senate 1863–78; taught in union theol. sem., Tokyo. Linguist, poet, musician.

Verdi, Guiseppe

(1813–1901). Composer; b. (Le) Roncole, Parma province, It. Works include operas; Messa da Requiem; ch. music (e.g., Stabat mater; Te Deum; Laudi alia virgine Maria).


(from Lat. virga, “twig, rod”). Official who carries a mace or verge before a dignitary. Also one who takes care of the interior of a ch. or an official who serves as sacristan* or usher or one who keeps order during services.

Vergerio, Pietro Paolo

(Pier; Pierpaolo; Vergerius; Petrus Paulua; Peter Paul; ca. 1497/98–ca. 1564/65). Called “the Younger” because an earlier mem. of the family had the same name (see preceding entry); lawyer, poet, reformer; b. Capodistria, It.; educ. Padua; lawyer in Verona, Padua, Venice; sent with others to 1530 Augsburg Diet (see Lutheran Confessions, A 2) by Clement VII (see Clement VII, 2) to oppose Prots.; papal secy. and domestic chaplain 1532; sent to Ger. 1535 by Paul* III to negotiate with Ger. princes about a proposed council at Mantua, It. (the council, for which M. Luther* wrote the Schmalkaldic Arts. [see Lutheran Confessions, B 2], did not materialize); conferred with Luther (whom he, in a report to the papal secy., called a “beast” who was possibly possessed by a demon); bp. Modrus(z) May 1536, Capodistria September 1536; attended the 1540 colloquy of Worms* (as commissioner for Francis* I) and 1541 Regensburg* Conference; studied writings of Luther; aroused RC suspicion for perhaps conceding too much to Prots.; broke with RCm 1545; applied unsuccessfully for admittance to the Council of Trent* to justify himself; excommunicated 1549; active in Switz. till 1553; spent rest of his life in service of Christoph,* duke of Württemberg. Works include many anti-RC polemical writings.

Vergerio Pietro Paolo

(1370–ca. 1444/45). Called “the Elder” because a later mem. of the family had the same name (see next entry); humanist, educ., canonist, statesman; b. Capodistria, It.: educ. Padua, Florence, and Bologna; taught rhetoric and logic at Padua and Florence; tutor for princes of Carrara at Padua; papal secy. 1406–17; secy.. to emp. Sigismund.* Works include Pro redintegranda et unienda ecclesia.

Verígin, Peter Vasilich

(d. 1924). Russ. Doukhobor (from Russ. for “spirit wrestler”) leader (see Russian Sects); banished 1887 by Russ. authorities from the Caucasus to Archangel; exiled to Siberia 1892; followers migrated to W Can. 1898/99; Verígin, released from exile 1911, became leader of Doukhobors in Can..

Veron, François

(Franciscus Veronius; 1575–1649). Fr. Jesuit. Works include Méthodes de traiter des controverses de religion; Règle générale de la joy catholique.


(variants include Berenice, Bernice, Venice, Venisse, Vernice, Veronce, Verone; Beronica, from Gk. Bernike, Beronike). Legendary woman of Jerusalem; said to have received an imprint of the face of Christ on a cloth, legends varying as to when, where, and how; possession of the cloth has been claimed by chs. in Rome, Milan, and Jaen (Sp.).

Verschoor, Jakob

(1646–1700). Ref. separatist; educ. Leiden, Neth.; rejected by followers of G. Voet*; active in conventicles around Middelburg; held that the redeemed had been made guiltless by Christ, with resultant possible innate righteousness; banished from Middelburg and Leiden; gained many followers. See also Hebraeans.


1. In the Bible, the smallest division of a chapter. 2. In poetry one metrical line, or group of lines comprising a stanza.* See also Chapters and Verses of the Bible.


Verse or sentence chanted or spoken in a service by an officiant to which the choir or cong. responds. See also Ambrosian Music; Response.


(Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus; 9–79). Father of Titus* Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus; b. Reate, Latium, It.; sent by Claudius* I to command legions in Ger. and Brit.; conquered Isle of Wight; consul 51; proconsul of Afr. 63 under Nero*; sent to Palestine to conduct war against Jews 66; joined 67 by son Titus, whom he left in charge of Roman forces 68; emperor 69–79; began bldg. Coliseum (or Colosseum) at Rome. See also Josephus, Flavius; Persecution of Christians, 2.


(from Gk. hespera and Lat. vesper and vespers, “evening”). Evening service of the Western Ch.; one of the canonical hours.* Its order has been used at various times during the day. See also Canticles.

Vestiarian Controversy.

Dispute about clerical dress begun under Edward VI (see England, B 4). became acute when J. Hooper* refused to wear prescribed vestments at his consecration as bp. Gloucester 1550; burst forth again 1554, when an attempt was made to secure uniformity of vestments in Eng. See also Puritans.

Vestments, Clerical.

1. Chief traditional vestments: The tunica talaris (from Lat. talus, “ankle, heel”), an ankle-length tunic, was fashioned after the common tunic. The dalmatic* was practically an ungirdled over-tunic; worn at high mass (see Missa solemnis) by deacons, now also by some prelates (e.g., bps.); white linen. The paenula or casula (chasuble*) is the outermost vestment worn by the celebrant at mass. The pallium is a circular band of white wool, worn on the shoulders, with white wool pendant strips front and rear; marked with 6 dark purple crosses; originally apparently worn by abps. but without connection with Rome; now conferred by the pope as a symbol of office; its equivalent in the E Ch. is called omophorion (from Gk. for “bearing on the shoulders”). The stole is a white or colored neckcloth (see also 2; Epitrachelion; Orarion). The maniple was originally a napkin or handkerchief used by deacons in table ministration; now an ornamental band over the left forearm. The amice was probably originally a head covering; now an oblong cloth worn about the neck and shoulders. The alb is a white linen ankle-length garment with girdle and tight sleeves. The cope, or pluvial (from Lat. for “rain”), a long cloak, open in front except for closure at top, originally used for protection against inclement weather, is worn in nearly all functions in which the chasuble is not used. The girdle,* or cincture, serves as a belt.

2. Following are worn by a priest at mass: (1) amice; (2) alb; (3) girdle; (4) maniple; (5) stole (see also 1), a narrow strip of fabric worn about the neck and with the ends loose or crossed over the breast; (6) chasuble; (7) surplice (from Lat. for “over fur”), or cotta, a kind of alb but shorter, with loose sleeves and worn loose at the waist; designed for use over fur or fur-lined garments in unheated chs. in cold weather; used by clerics, acolytes, lay readers, choristers.

3. The hist. position of M. Luther* and the Luth. Ch. regarding use of vestments is conservative; vestments are to serve worship, not distract the eye or mind. Use of vestments in the Luth. Ch. has varied from time to time and place to place.

Biretta,* cassock (long close-fitting garment, now usually black and worn with clerical collar), Geneva bands (Ger. Beffchen; 2 narrow strips of white cloth pendant from front of collar of clerical dress of some Prots.; based on Ref. practice in Geneva, Switz.). Geneva gown (loose, large-sleeved, black academic gown; adopted by Ref. clergy at Geneva; also used by some other Prots.), and ruff (round, multilayered. lace or lace-edged collar) are not hist. service-oriented.

See also Cuffs; Humeral Veil; Miter; Rochet; Sticharion; Tunicle.


1. Room in, or attached to, a ch. (and usually near the altar) and used for some or all purposes of a sacristy.* 2. Esp. in the Angl. Ch. and Prot. Episc. Ch., a body of parish ch. officers or a parish or vestry meeting.

Vetter, Daniel

(ca. 1650–1721). Luth. musician; b. Breslau, Ger.; contemporary of J. Kuhnau* and G. Vopelius*; organist Nicolaikirche, Leipzig 1679–1721; composer. Works include Musicalische Kirchund Haus-Ergötzlichkeit, which includes the hymn tune Das walt' Gott Vater.

Vetter, Jakob

(1872–1918). B. Worms, Ger.; worked with Pilgermission St. Chrischona*; est. Zeltmission (“tent mission”) 1902 and served it till 1918.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Concordia Publishing House
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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