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In religion relics (Gk. leipsana, Lat. reliquiae) are artifacts that are related to deceased saints and that are venerated as a result. First we have bodily parts, then objects they touched, such as portions of silk or cloth (brandea) or mantles (palliola), then things connected with their graves (eulogia, hagiasmata, e.g., dust from the grave). We find veneration of relics in Egyptian and Greek religion, as well as in Buddhism and Islam.

1. Christian History

In the Christian world the development an…

Cite this page
Beinert, Wolfgang, “Relics”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 26 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_R.34>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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