Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,337 words)

1. Terminology

The early modern terms laicism and laicity, like laity itself, go back to Greek laós (“people”), but belong to the context of the specifically early modern process of secularization. The English words translated the 19th-century French neologism laïcité and its negative variant laïcisme [1]. In Romance countries, laicity is synonymous with “secularization,” but in the English-, Scandinavian-, and German-speaking world it generally denotes its p…

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Wolff, Jens, “Laity”, 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 03 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023000>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190124

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