Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

The term pastor (from Lat. pastor, “shepherd”) represents the official role of the Protestant minister usually called Pfarrer or Pfarrerin in German (Clergy); it is common in some areas of Germany, especially where Low German is spoken, and in other countries, such as the United States and France (Le pasteur). There is no substantial difference in meaning between Pastor and Pfarrer. The term draws on the imagery of the Bible (esp. Ps 23 and John 10:11) to emphasize the function of the minister as a pastor, particularly the elements of care…

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Knuth, Hans Christian, “Pastor”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 July 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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