Religion Past and Present

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Masses, The
(951 words)

[German Version]

I. Social Sciences and Ethics – II. Practical Theology

I. Social Sciences and Ethics

The term the masses (or the crowd) is a peculiarly modern, strongly normative designation for a great number of human beings thought of as an amorphous whole. Since antiquity there have been references to disorganized groups of people, uneducated and hence susceptible to demagoguery (óchlos, plebs), but the modern use of the term presupposes specific processes of deracination in industri…

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Heesch, Matthias and Daiber, Karl-Fritz, “Masses, The”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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