Religion Past and Present

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(5,513 words)

[German Version]

I. Religious Studies

Relics are the remains (Lat. reliquiae) of individuals endowed with power, such as warriors, chiefs, sorcerers, heroes, prophets, martyrs, and saints – their bodies, their clothing, or objects they have used. Veneration of relics reflects the belief that these forces continue beyond the grave; the intent is to benefit from this power or blessing by erecting structures over the grave, lighting candles or leaving flowers, processions, touchin…

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Felber, Anneliese, Köpf, Ulrich, Plank, Peter, Hafner, Johann Ev. and Mohr, Hubert, “Relics”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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