Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(985 words)

1. General remarks

The term purity is used universally, but its semantic field is culture-specific. Depending on the context, the word denotes diverse forms of purity. In the literal sense, it means cleanness – of apparel or objects, for instance. In the context of modern notions of hygiene, which emerged increasingly in the 19th century (see Bathing), purity means sterility. In the metaphorical sense, the term plays an important role in most religions as ritual or…

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Gareis, Iris, “Purity”, 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 02 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_026438>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

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