Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(912 words)

1. Concept

It is not surprising that the understanding of authority has greatly changed over the centuries in popular speech and philosophical, theological, legal, and educational reflection. The phenomenon of authority is too close to our self-regard, our anxieties and hopes, to remain static in conception. It is all the more interesting, then, that the Roman distinction between potestas (of the government) and auctoritas (of the senate and individuals) has persisted in modern sociologic…

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Ritschl, Dietrich, “Authority”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 26 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_A771>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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