Religion Past and Present

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(812 words)

[German Version]

“Luxury” is derived from Latin luxus, luxuria and was first used as a German term (luxus) by Paracelsus in 1529. On the basis of its Latin root, luxury denotes wastefulness, pomp, and immoderate expenditure exceeding the respective social norm (Veblen). Luxury is a concomitant phenomenon of the history of humanity (Voltaire, Oeuvres complètes, ed. L. Moland, vol. XX, 1967, 16). Because it is defined in relation to the respective social norm, however, this descriptive concept of the conduct of life (Lifestyle/Conduct of life) is also subject to a context-oriente…

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Gräb-Schmidt, Elisabeth, “Luxury”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 29 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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