Religion Past and Present

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Laying-On of Hands
(1,802 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Practical Theology

I. Religious Studies

The laying-on or imposition of hands is a physical gesture usually performed in the context of a ritualized series of actions or as a symbol by itself. It can be ascribed to a divine being conceived anthropomorphically. The ritual gesture is attested in many cultures, especially in the ancient Near East, but…

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Mohn, Jürgen, Janowski, Bernd, Lips, Hermann v. and Biehl, Peter, “Laying-On of Hands”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 January 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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