Religion Past and Present

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Clergy and Laity
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[German Version]

I. European Christian Churches – II. Churches Worldwide – III. Islam

I. European Christian Churches

1. Catholic Church

A division of the church into clergy and laity does not coincide with New Testament evidence. The designation “laity” derives from laikós, the adjective form of λαός/laós, “people.” In the Septuagint (LXX), this term describes the people of Israel in contrast to the (pagan) nations. In all important passages in the NT, it describes th…

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Neuner, Peter, Schneider, Johann, Winkler, Eberhard, Guder, Darrell, Denis, Philippe and Halm, Heinz, “Clergy and Laity”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 07 December 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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