Religion Past and Present

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Ecclesiastical Power
(498 words)

[German Version]

The concept of “ecclesiastical power” is not very common in the newer doctrine of Protestant canon law; however, in Roman Catholicism, the authority of the Church and related concepts (sacra potestas, potestas ecclesiastica, potestas ordinis, and potestas jurisdictionis) are the foundation of the Church's legal structure. Nevertheless, the justification for and the scope of the authority of the Church were among the most important controversial issues of the Reformation (CA 28). In Protestantism, the concept of the power of the church and its defi…

Cite this page
de Wall, Heinrich, “Ecclesiastical Power”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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