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Confession
(2,565 words)

1. Definition and meaning

Confession (from Latin confessio) has been the most common form of the church’s penitential discipline from the early Middle Ages until (to some extent) the present. The German equivalent is Beichte, from MHG bigiht, contracted bīht[e]: “declaration, avowal”. The debate over whether it should be recognized as a sacrament and how it should be formally regulated and practiced by the church became a major bone of contention among th…

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Walter, Peter, Ohst, Martin and Ivanov, Vladimir, “Confession”, 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 13 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_017449>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170206



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