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In religion the dove has been viewed as a symbol of the vital spirit or soul and also of virtues and female deities. In Israel it was an animal to be sacrificed (Lev. 12:8). At Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:10 and par.) the dove appeared as an embodiment of the Holy Spirit. The dove represents innocence in Matt. 10:16. Early Christian art first depicted it as the bird of the soul, then on the basis of Gen. 8:11 as a sign (§2) of peace and of God’s will for creation. From the early Middle Ages onward, it came to represent the Holy Spirit (obligatorily so for Roman Catholics since 1745). T…

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Schnitker, Thaddeus A., “Dove”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 26 January 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_D446>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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