Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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(784 words)

1. Concept

In Roman Catholic canon law, excommunication is a penalty imposed with a view to recovery. Withdrawal of the rights of church membership is designed to lead to conversion and repentance (Penitence). Distinction is made between “lesser” excommunication (which relates to the sacraments and ministry) and “greater” excommunication (shunning by all other members). Besides excommunication, the interdict and the anathema are also meant to lead to recovery. The interdi…

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Stein, Jürgen, “Excommunication”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 22 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_E638>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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