Religion Past and Present

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(1,863 words)

[German Version]

I. The Concept

Pre-existence refers to the existence of deities, persons, or objects prior to the world or the earth. All religions in which the deity is not subsumed into time espouse the notion of the deity’s real pre-existence, because entrance into the course of time brings forth only knowledge of the deity without affecting the deity’s being. It is in this context that we also speak of the pre-existence of Christ. In Greek philosophy, which influenced early Christianity, t…

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Plasger, Georg, Necker, Gerold, Dan, Joseph and Radtke, Bernd, “Pre-existence”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 05 July 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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