Religion Past and Present

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Footwashing (Pedilavium)
(467 words)

[German Version]

I. Western Churches – II. Orthodox Churches

I. Western Churches

Footwashing as a Christian rite finds its origin in John 13:1–20, where Jesus washes his disciples' feet and commands them to wash one another's feet. The rite appears to function as a sacrament in the Johannine community and is a distinctively Christian act in 1 Tim 5:10. Evidence for the practice of footwashing can be found in every century of the church's history. The mean…

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Thomas, John Christopher and Petzolt, Martin, “Footwashing (Pedilavium)”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 16 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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