Religion Past and Present

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Church Seal
(352 words)

[German Version]

For several millennia, all cultures have used seals as symbols consisting of image and text, often in the form of stamp seals, in order to authenticate or seal documents or containers. The purpose of seals is to prevent the unauthorized opening or falsification of contents. Originally, only the seals of the pope and of the emperor, as well as those of kings, princes and ecclesial institutions enjoyed general credibility, though their usage also spread to the bourgeoisie from the 13th century onward. Nowadays, the ecclesial corporations under public law em…

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Thiele, Christoph, “Church Seal”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 16 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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