The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Relics (Veneration of)
(1,440 words)

1. Relics (Lat. reliquiae, ‘leavings’), in the religious understanding of the term, are remains having a relation to the Holy. Thus, especially in Christian veneration of relics, ‘memorial pieces’ of chief figures, or of figures who have served as models of Christian life or Christian death (saints and martyrs), such as their blood, bones, or ashes (primary, or ‘first-class’ relics), are reverenced or venerated. Relics of the second order, or relics of touch, are objects with which the saints, or t…

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Raach, Marcus, “Relics (Veneration of)”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 26 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223

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