Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

In the history of Christianity celibacy has often been more highly valued than marriage. The Catholic Church's catechism of 1993 (no. 1618ff.) still praises celibacy and virginity. New Testament and Early Church statements form the background. For Paul it was the imminent eschatological expectation that gave celibacy and asceticism greater importance than marriage (1 Cor 7; cf. Matt 19:12). When celibacy is recommended in the New Testament, and especially in the Early Church, this can be explained by the adoption of sexually as…

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Kreß, Hartmut, “Celibacy”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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