Religion Past and Present

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(196 words)

[German Version]

(from Lat. scapulae, “shoulders”), a religious garment consisting of a piece of cloth worn over the shoulders and hanging down in front and behind. A scapular, usually reaching to the knees or lower, is part of the habit of many orders (e.g. the Benedictines). Since the Middle Ages, however, a scapular has also been a token of membership in lay communities, some affiliated with orders (Tertiaries), expressing participation in spiritual goods. Finally such scapulars were reduced to two rectangles connecte…

Cite this page
Haering, Stephan, “Scapular”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 18 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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