Clergy
(1,880 words)

1. Catholic

1.1. Distinctions

In contrast to Protestantism, in early modern Catholicism the medieval feudal notion of the religious elite as a separate social estate lived on (Estates, society of) [3]. The clerical class, as distinct from the laity, comprised those who – on the basis of a sacramental understanding of ministerial office – exercised authority (Latin potestas) in the church (Office). The outward distinction of the clerical estate was marked by the claim of exclusive privileges (…

Cite this page
Wassilowsky, Günther and Schorn-Schütte, Luise, “Clergy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 20 August 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019730>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206



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