Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

Etymologically the term priest derives from Greek πρεσβύτερος/presbýteros, “elder”; it denotes a religious functionary, especially an expert responsible for the cult. The Greek word did not originally have this meaning. A second semantic strand puts a priest (Gk ἱερεύς/hiereús, Lat. sacerdos) in charge of things that are sacred (Sacred and profane). The characteristics that comparative religion usually associates with pr…

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Friedli, Richard, Otto, Eckart, Dignas, Beate, Elm, Dorothee, Kraus, Georg, Plank, Peter, Brandt, Reinhard and Oberlies, Thomas, “Priesthood”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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