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Celibacy of the Clergy
(1,541 words)

[German Version]

I. History of Religions – II. In the Christian Church – III.  Ethics

I. History of Religions

Celibacy, from Latin caelebs, “living alone,” refers to the unmarried state with the accent on sexual abstinence as practiced by a specific social group, while chastity represents a comprehensive form of abstinence going beyond the sexual. Celibacy is practiced for cultic reasons (purity [Pure and impure], defense against demons), societal needs (vestals; the preser…

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Felber, Anneliese, Lüdecke, Norbert and Puza, Richard, “Celibacy of the Clergy”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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