Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

Church penance
(839 words)

1. Historical background

The term church penance denotes the conditions under which a sinner is readmitted to full participation in the Christian community. Primitive Christianity had only a single  penance, preceding baptism. In the 2nd century, the notion of a so-called second penance gained acceptance: after baptism every Christian could obtain forgiveness for serious sins once more during his or her lifet…

Cite this page
Birr, Christiane, “Church penance”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 27 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_022170>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

▲   Back to top   ▲