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Succession, Apostolic
(3,002 words)

[German Version]

I. Terminology

Especially in ecumenical discussion (Ecumene), there is a widespread assumption that the expression apostolic succession denotes a primitive and clearly defined attribute of ecclesiastical office. However, the notion that the marks of the church (Notae ecclesiae) include an unbroken chain of office holders going back to the apostles and that each of these office holders was placed in office through the laying-on of hands of another…

Cite this page
Markschies, Christoph, Wohlmuth, Josef, Felmy, Karl Christian, Campenhausen, Axel Frhr. v. and Neuner, Peter, “Succession, Apostolic”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 15 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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