Religion Past and Present

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Church Advocate
(391 words)

[German Version]

The term “advocate” (Ger. Vogt), from Lat. advocatus (“attorney”), acquired a vastly expanded meaning in the Middle Ages. The model of legal representation and arbitration became associated with the notion of protection by an aristocrat.

Charlemagne aleady required churches to appoint advocates, and the office developed into a permanent institution. The Carolingian kings, who sought to make immunity benefit the realm, strove to tie the advocati to the crown by an oath of fealty to the ruler and by supervision through missi (specially commissioned royal emissa…

Cite this page
Kalb, Herbert, “Church Advocate”, 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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