Religion Past and Present

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Res sacrae
(257 words)

[German Version]

The concept of the res sacrae now belongs to the sphere of state-church law, i.e. of state constitutional law. It circumscribes the domain of the ecclesial items of property (Property, Church) that have a direct liturgical purpose, as for instance the vasa sacra, bells, church buildings, and cemeteries. The term stems from Roman law, where it originally designated objects used for the public cult of a deity. Already modified under Emperor Justinian I, the Roman law of the res sacrae found its way into the canonical law of the Middle Ages and into common secu…

Cite this page
Mainusch, Rainer, “Res sacrae”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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