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Emergency Baptism
(491 words)

Since the early church saw baptism not merely as a rite of initiation but as a means of conferring salvation, as early as the second century it could be administered by laymen as well as clergy when there was danger of death (so-called clinical baptism). Tertullian and the Fourth Council of Carthage, however, would not allow women to administer it. Because of the consecration of the water and the anointing, which were reserved for priests, the East hesitated to allow emergency baptism by laymen (Apos. Const. 3.10.1–2). In the West the bishop would subsequently lay on hands (3d cent., Afr…

Cite this page
Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph, “Emergency Baptism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 28 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_E220>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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