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Church and Confessionalism
(751 words)

[German Version]

The current use of the term confession to denote a particular ecclesiastical denomination first appeared in the early 19th century; since then it has replaced earlier terms such as religious or faith “party.” Its original context was probably the theological and political reaction to various union proposals (Unions, Church) (Reinhard, 165, n. 1), but the terminological development represents the objective consequence of the confessional fragmentation (Confessionalization) of Western Christendom that had become rife by the second half of the 16t…

Cite this page
Wenz, Gunther, “Church and Confessionalism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 14 June 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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