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Kitsch, Religious
(551 words)

[German Version]

The etymological origins of the term “kitsch” have not been explained. On the one hand, it has been derived from the English word “sketch,” and, on the other, from the German verb “kitschen,” which means “to sweep up the street mud with a manure rake.” In the sense of “filth, junk,” the kitsch phenomenon was passed on in the concept of the trash culture of the 1990s. Suspicion of kitsch and the debate surrounding it have their roots in the German-language discourse concerning aesthetics around 1900 (Aesthetics). It treated kitsch as a borderline case of the aesthet…

Cite this page
Bahr, Petra, “Kitsch, Religious”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 04 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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