Religion Past and Present

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(10,176 words)

[German Version]

I. Church History

In Christian usage, the term sacrament has two meanings: a broad meaning corresponding to the New Testament term μυστήριον/mystḗrion (“mystery”), used as a term for mysteries of the faith in general, and a narrower meaning in the sense of certain liturgical actions that enable believers to share in the salvific grace effected by Christ. While medieval Scholastic theology in the West developed the narro…

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Köpf, Ulrich, Nocke, Franz-Josef, Felmy, Karl Christian, Kandler, Karl-Hermann, Busch, Eberhard, Sykes, Stephen, Sattler, Dorothea and Richter, Klemens, “Sacraments”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 31 July 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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