Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Ritualized kisses were a part of the Greco-Roman and Jewish world from which the early church emerged. While many of the references to kissing in Greco-Roman writers are between lovers, kisses were used in other instances as well. A kiss could serve as a greeting, as a way to acknowledge those in authority (like the emperor), or as a way to seal an agreement. In relig…

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Chase, Nathan P., “Kiss”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 29 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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