Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,854 words)

1. Catholic

1.1. Distinctions

In contrast to Protestantism, in early modern Catholicism the medieval feudal notion of the religious elite as a separate social estate lived on (Estates, society of) [3]. The clerical class, as distinct from the laity, comprised those who – on the basis of a sacramental understanding of ministerial office – exercised authority (Latin potestas) in the church (Office). The outward distinction of the clerical estate was marked by the claim of exclusive privileges (e.g. immunity in tax matter…

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Wassilowsky, Günther and Schorn-Schütte, Luise, “Clergy”, 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_019730>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206

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