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The following text is from Irivng Hexham's Concise Dictionary of Religion, first published by InterVarsity Press, Carol Stream, USA, 1994, second edition, Regent College Press, Vancouver, 1999.
To order contact REGENT BOOKSTORE Copyright © Irving Hexham 1994, 1998. For further information about the AUTHOR. For further information about the book and the sources used to compile this text see the PREFACE. For a Religious Studies READING LIST.
Cross-references are indicated by the use of CAPITAL LETTERS.
CABBALA [Kabbalah and Qabbalah]: a medieval JEWISH mystical system based on the BIBLE but drawing on PLATONISM and a variety of philosophic traditions. The major written source is known as the Zohar.
CADDY, Elaine (1917-): Egyptian born English OCCULTIST who in 1953 had a MYSTICAL experience in GLASTONBURY which led her to become a CHANNELLER. In 1957 she helped Peter CADDY establish the FINDHORN COMMUNITY which she continues to lead. Claiming to have been in constant communication with NATURE SPIRITS, such as the God Pan, she is also important as a leader of the NEO-PAGAN MOVEMENT.
CADDY, Peter (1917-): English OCCULTIST strongly influenced by THEOSOPHY who co-founded the FINDHORN COMMUNITY in the mid-1960s. He later divorced his wife, Elaine, who had acted as his CHANNELLER, and moved to Mount Shasta, California, where he founded the GATHERING OF THE WAYS CENTER modelled after FINDHORN.
CALENDAR: most traditional religions follow a LITURGICAL calendar. In ISLAM a lunar calendar is still used to set the dates and times for important feasts and fasting such as RAMADAM; in CHRISTIANITY the calendar is fixed. There are differences in usage between Western and Eastern Churches resulting in different dates for CHRISTMAS and EASTER. The purpose of a religious calendar is to instill in the minds of people the great events of a RELIGION by the repetition of religious acts and ceremonies spread throughout the year. Thus in Christianity there is ADVENT, or the time preceding the BIRTH of JESUS when the prophecies of the HEBREW BIBLE are remembered, followed by CHRISTMAS which celebrates the birth of CHRIST and lead on to LENT when His temptations and earthly life is remembered leading up to EASTER when the death and RESURRECTION of JESUS is meditated on. Finally there is PENTECOST--or WHITSUN--when the ASCENSION and heavenly reign of CHRIST comes into play. Liturgical Churches have various SAINTS days added to commemorate the life and death of outstanding CHRISTIANS.
CALIPH: the title given to the successor of MUHAMMAD, AB BAKR, as the secular leader of ISLAM. It has remained an important office in SUNN but is rejected by the SHI'ITES.
CALIPHATE: that aspect of ISLAM which recognizes a Monarch who is seen to unite both the religiousand SECULAR realms under his rule. The Otterman Empire abolished the Caliphate in 1924.
CALLAWAY, Henry (1817-1890): converted from QUAKERISM by the writings of F. D. MAURICE. Callaway trained as a medical doctor before becoming an ANGLICAN MINISTER and missionary to Natal where he served under BISHOP COLENSO. As a MISSIONARY he opposed Colenso's views on POLYGAMY arguing that however fine in theory, the practice denigrated women. His sympathy for AFRICAN RELIGIONS is evident in his many writings, the best known of which are Nursery Tales, Traditions, and Histories of the Zulus (1868) and The Religious System of the Ama-Zulu (1870). Passionately interested in COMPARATIVE RELIGION, his contribution to RELIGIOUS STUDIES has yet to be fully appreciated.
CALVIN, John (1509-1564): after LUTHER, Calvin is the greatest of the Protestant REFORMERS and one of the most important CHRISTIAN theologians of all time. As a result of his CONVERSION and the influence of LUTHER, he fled France arriving at Geneva in 1536 where he published the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536) which was the first systematic defense of the REFORMATION. In his consistently Biblical theology the idea of the sovereignty, honor, and glory of GOD is paramount. Calvin's influence spread throughout Switzerland to the French HUGUENOTS, the Dutch, the Scotch PRESBYTERIANS and the English PURITANS.
CALVINISM: originated with John CALVIN'S interpretation and exposition of SCRIPTURE found in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536). It emphasizes the sovereignty of GOD in SALVATION and is closely associated with PURITANISM. The Five Points of Calvinism which were drawn up in response to ARMINIANISM are: (1) total depravity; (2) unconditional election; (3) limited atonement; (4) irresistible grace; (5) perseverance of the saints. PRESBYTERIANS, various REFORMED Churches, and ANGLICANS have been strongly influenced by Calvinism as a theological system.
CALVINIST: someone who accepts the teaching of CALVINISM.
CAMBRIDGE PLATONISTS: a THEOLOGICAL movement which flourished at the University of Cambridge in the seventeenth century which advocated religious toleration.
CAMPBELL, Joseph (1904-1987): American OCCULTIST and college teacher whose prolific but confused ideas about MYTHOLOGY made him a CULT figure for the COUNTER CULTURE of the 1960s and later the NEW AGE MOVEMENT.
CAMUS, Albert (1913-1960): French EXISTENTIALIST author whose book The Rebel (1951) is a profound analysis of modern SOCIETY and the predicament of modern people living in a world without GOD.
CANAAN: the "promised land" of ANCIENT JUDAISM which is identified with modern ISRAEL.
CANAANITES: a Biblical people who occupied CANAAN before the arrival of both the PHILISTINES and the HEBREWS who displaced them through armed conflict. They worshiped a variety of GODS including BAAL and probably practiced CULT prostitution and human sacrifice.
CANON: from the Greek meaning a "list" "rule" or "measure." It has come to mean an AUTHORITY or officially accepted or received text.
CANON LAW: a CHRISTIAN legal system regulating the conduct of the CHURCH. It has particular force within ROMAN CATHOLICISM.
CANON OF SCRIPTURE: those books of the BIBLE which are accepted as authoritative by a given religious TRADITION. ROMAN CATHOLICS include several books, known as the APOCRYPHA, which are not accepted as authoritative by PROTESTANTS who generally restrict the CANON to 33 books of the OLD TESTAMENT and 27 books of the NEW TESTAMENT. JEWS usually distinguish between the first five books of MOSES, the TORAH, and the other books of the HEBREW BIBLE which are seen as of secondary importance making a further division between the PROPHETS and the remaining books. In ISLAM the QUR'N is by definition CANONICAL leaving arguments about authenticity to questions about the ADTH. BUDDHISM recognizes several Canons based on the language of the text such as the PALI CANON but in general has a very flexible attitude towards such issues as does HINDUISM where again there is a vast religious literature.
CANONIZATION: the practice of certain Churches, especially the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, to declare a deceased person to have been a SAINT thus allowing for the veneration of their tomb or relics.
CANTERBURY: one of the oldest centers of CHRISTIANITY in Europe and the seat of the ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY (whose official title is "Primate of All England") and the head of the ANGLICAN COMMUNION. The CATHEDRAL dates from at least 1067 although a CHURCH existed there from the sixth century.
CAPITALISM: an economic system which presupposes private property in the means of production; a market economy; and the division of labor. It is often referred to as "free enterprise" or "the market system." According to MARXISM, capitalism is a transitional stage of human HISTORY leading to the communist SOCIETY of the future. WEBER suggested that democracy in its purest FORM can only occur in a capitalist society and that there is a complex relationship between capitalism and RELIGION, particularly CALVINISM.
CAPPADOCIAN FATHERS: this title is given to three theologians--BASIL THE GREAT, GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS and GREGORY OF NYSSA--who played a prominent role at the COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE in defeating ARIANISM.
CAPRA, Fritjof (1931-): American PHYSICIST and author of the best selling Tao of Physics (1975) who became a NEW AGE GURU because of his speculations about the relationship between modern physics and YOGIC RELIGIONS.
CARDINAL: a presiding BISHOP in the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
CAREY, William (1761-1834): English shoemaker whose profound religious CONVERSION led him to write An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use Means for Conversion of the Heathen (1792), which became the manifesto of the modern MISSIONARY movement. In 1793 he went to India where, because of opposition from the East India Company, he lived in a Dutch enclave. There he learnt several Indian languages, established a printing press and began the EVANGELIZATION of the sub-continent.
CARGO CULTS: NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS, originating in Polynesia, where the followers of a PROPHET figure are promised "cargo" when the SAVIOR arrives to free the people from oppression and usher in a new order. The term is now commonly applied to all NEW RELIGIONS where earthly prosperity seems to be a major factor in making CONVERTS.
CARLYLE, Thomas (1795-1881): Scottish essayist who popularized GOETHE and German ROMANTICISM in England and profoundly influenced EMERSON'S TRANSCENDENTALISM. After a period of initial skepticism, during which time he influenced such people as George ELLIOT, he promoted a generalized spirituality opposed to all CREEDS and traditional theologies. Profoundly reactionary he scorned industrialization, supported slavery and objected to penal reform. He strongly attacked LIBERALISM and totally rejected the UTILITARIAN philosophy of John Stuart MILL. His views were popularized through a series of histories, such as The French Revolution (1837), and his essays On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History (1841). Today his influence can be felt in the ECOLOGICAL MOVEMENT and other forms of ANTI-MODERNISM.
CARNELL, Edward John (1919-1967): American theologian who played a significant role in the revitalization of post-war EVANGELICALISM and the founding of Fuller Theological Seminary. His best known books are An Introduction to Christian Apologetics (1948), Christian Commitment (1957) and The Burden of Soren Kierkegaard (1965).
CAROLINGINAN REVIVAL: the revival of learning encouraged by CHARLEMAGNE in the ninth century and directed by ALCUIN which developed schools in conjunction with MONASTERIES in Western Europe.
CRVKA: the principle system of PHILOSOPHICAL materialism in the Indian TRADITION. It flourished in the medieval period.
CASTANEDA, Carlos (1935-): the author of The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yanqui Way of Knowledge (1968) and a number of other books purporting to be ANTHROPOLOGICAL accounts of a Native American religious TRADITION. Although awarded a Ph.D. for his first book, by the University of California, many scholars doubt the authenticity of his work and question his academic credentials.
CASTE: an integral part of HINDU religion and Hindu society. The word "caste" is normally used to refer to what in India is called Jti, the social status, which is one's inheritance at birth. In Vedic times there were four castes: BRHMAA (priests),KATRIYAS (warriors), VAIYA (merchants) and DRAS (farmers and manual workers). Members of the first three castes were called the "twice-born" and were identified largely on the basis of their color. Over time the caste system developed into a complex web of thousands of castes which embrace the whole of INDIAN SOCIETY in an apartheid like web.
CASTE SYSTEM: the TRADITIONAL SOCIAL system of India based on the notion of caste.
CASUISTRY: the application of ethical principles in terms of specific cases. In THEOLOGICAL ethics the practice developed in the eight century and has continued until today under the name of SITUATION ETHICS.
CATACOMBS: caves in ROME and other cities used for the burial of the dead where the EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH found refuge from persecution.
CATECHISM: "to instruct or make to hear," originally it meant instruction in the CHRISTIAN FAITH but later became identified with a book or teaching manual.
CATECHUMENS: people under instruction in the CHRISTIAN FAITH as preparation for BAPTISMS.
CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVE: KANT'S dictum that ethically a person should act in such a way that their actions could be universalized.
CATEGORIES: basic divisions of thought used to classify both ideas and objects in the world. In the PHILOSOPHY of KANT, categories are held to mold our entire experience.
CATEGORY MISTAKE: an error of logic where a group of unrelated things or ideas are treated as though there is a necessary connection between them when in fact the whole sentence is meaningless; e.g. "I feel pink inside."
CATHARSIS: a Greek word meaning purification or purging which was applied to the emotions to explain theatrical performances, music and a severe crisis in daily life. In RELIGION the idea is applied to LITURGY and such things as CONVERSION EXPERIENCES.
CATHEDRAL: a CHURCH containing the chair or throne (cathedra) of a BISHOP of the diocese.
CATHERINE OF GENOA (1447-1510): Italian CHRISTIAN MYSTIC and author of the classic work Vita e dottrina (1551) whose good works spread her fame among the common people.
CATHOLIC APOSTOLIC CHURCH: sometimes known as "Irvingites." This group was founded by Edward IRVING, (1792-1834, and originated as a CHARISMATIC group but soon developed LITURGICAL aspects similar to ROMAN CATHOLICISM and GREEK ORTHODOXY but with a strong emphasis on the imminent return of CHRIST. As a movement it had some success in the late nineteenth century before entering a period of slow decline. Today its influence is felt mostly among NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS in the Third World especially in Africa.
CATHOLIC: from a Greek term meaning "in general" or "on the whole." In the EARLY CHURCH it was used to express the universal nature of CHRISTIANITY and to indicate that the BELIEF and practice of a CHURCH was such that it had been "everywhere and always accepted by all." Thus it became identified with ORTHODOXY. Today the term is often used to mean "UNIVERSAL."
CAUSATION: the cause of anything. Traditionally it was argued that every event had a cause and that the first CAUSE was GOD. HUME rejected this notion arguing instead that we observe many apparent relationships of succession but that this does not prove causation.
CAUSE: that which occasions or is the necessary condition to a given effect.
CAYCE, Edgar (1877-1945): American PSYCHIC whose writings provided much of the impetus for "channelling" in the NEW AGE MOVEMENT as well as promoting BELIEF in YOGIC RELIGION and such things as REINCARNATION. After experiencing healing as the result of a TRANCE, he gradually became a popular psychic reader and lecturer. In 1931 he founded the Association For Research and Enlightenment and began issuing regular newsletters. After his death, his son turned these into a series of popular books which gained a wide following.
CELIBACY: to abstain from sexual relations. The practice is common in MONASTIC Orders, and various other religious movements, also in BUDDHISM, CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM where it is highly prized. It occurs in other religions--such as ISLAM--on special occasions and at times of FASTING and REPENTANCE.
CHALCEDON, COUNCIL OF: the fourth ECUMENICAL council held in 451 A.D. The council arose from a CHRISTOLOGICAL dispute about the true NATURE of CHRIST'S manhood and resulted in the definition of Chalcedon.
CHALCEDON, DEFINITION OF: the Nicene Creed affirms: (1) that the Lord JESUS CHRIST is one; (2) that both of His NATURES, God and man are unimpaired, "perfect," consubstantial with God and man, pre-existent and born of the VIRGIN MARY; (3) Christ is fully God and fully man, thus securing SALVATION by a saving God and a man identified with men.
CHALICE: a goblet used in the MASS and HOLY COMMUNION or the LORD'S SUPPER in CHRISTIAN CHURCHES to hold the communion wine.
CHALMERS, Thomas (1780-1847): Scottish theologian and EVANGELICAL preacher whose intellectual defense of Christianity was linked with a strong concern for the poor. He pioneered popular EDUCATION and modern SOCIAL WELFARE. In 1843 he helped found the FREE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND becoming a professor at its theological institution, New College, Edinburgh.
CHANCE: "the unforeseen." In Greek RELIGION chance was deified and eventually venerated as "GOOD fortune."
CHANDAS: the "metre" used in chanting HINDU SACRIFICIAL RITUALS.
CHAOS: from the Greek word meaning "gap, gasp, or yawn" The poet Hesiod says "In the beginning Chaos came into being." In many Mesopotamian religioustraditions the world was created out of a pre-existing chaos. The HEBREW BIBLE appears to deny this and traditionally CHRISTIANS have maintained a BELIEF in creatio Ex Nihilo. Today some commentators argue that GOD created out of pre-existing MATTER. Such a view has important philosophic implications for the origins of EVIL and is rejected by ORTHODOX Christians.
CHAPTER AND VERSE: the BIBLE was first divided into chapters by Archbishop Stephen Langton, in the thirteenth century. Verses were added to the HEBREW BIBLE and NEW TESTAMENT by Rabbi NATHAN and Robert ESTIENNE, respectively, in the fifteenth century. The expression "chapter and verse" means to give a precise account or exact description such as is given when a Biblical passage is located using this technique.
CHARISMA: from the Greek meaning "favor" or "grace." It was used by the SOCIOLOGIST Max WEBER to describe the attraction of a person with a magnetic personality or great gifts of leadership such as those found in ALEXANDER the GREAT or NAPOLEON. Weber then applied this idea to religious leaders as a means of explaining the appeal of people like the BUDDHA, MOSES, JESUS, PAUL, or MUHAMMAD. In this way it came to refer to the personal magnetism of leaders who are able to attract a devoted following. In popular CHRISTIANITY, charisma refers to the GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT which are believed to follow the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Such gifts would include: healing, speaking in tongues, and PROPHECY.
CHARISMATIC: a CHRISTIAN who identifies with the CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT by believing in the manifestation of the GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT in contemporary society.
CHARISMATIC CHRISTIANITY: that branch of CHRISTIANITY which places an emphasis on the gifts of the SPIRIT.
CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT: a religious revival movement which started in the 1950s and took form in the early 1960s spreading PENTECOSTAL type experiences of the GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT from PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES to mainline DENOMINATIONS. It is associated with the work of David DU PLESSIS, Dennis BENNETT and Demos SHAKARIAN, the founder of the FULL GOSPEL BUSINESSMENS' ASSOCIATION. The Charismatic Movement is a worldwide phenomena and has served to bring many non-Western cultural practices, such as the emphasis on HEALING, the idea of PRAYER MOUNTAINS, into Western CHRISTIANITY.
CHARLEMAGNE, (742-814): King of the Franks (Germanic tribe of the Rhine region in the early CHRISTIAN era) and the first "Holy Roman Emperor" whose conquests greatly extended his kingdom: stemmed the spread of ISLAM, and through enlightened reforms, revived learning in Western Europe.
CHARMS: magical formula sung or recited and sometimes enclosed in devices to bring GOOD luck or ward off EVIL.
CHASTITY: many religious Orders in CHRISTIANITY, BUDDHISM and other religions require their members to take vows which require them to abstain from intentional sexual activity. Chastity also implies a state of mind associated with purity and the renouncing of lust.
CHESTERTON, Gilbert Keith (1874-1936): English journalist and Lay theologian whose writings, such as Orthodoxy (1908), provided a popular defense of CHRISTIANITY against modern RATIONALISM. He is best known for his "Father Brown" stories.
CHIH-I (538-597): Chinese religious leader and founder of the T'IEN T'AI school of BUDDHISM. He taught the illusory nature of matter based on the notion that only mind truly exists. For him ENLIGHTENMENT was the realization of the unity of the individual's consciousness with mind itself.
CHILDREN OF GOD: a NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENT originating in the late 1960s and subsequently called "THE FAMILY OF LOVE." It began as part of the JESUS MOVEMENT in California and was founded by David BERG, who became known as Moses David, or 'Mo.' Developing charismatic gifts, the group then began to encourage "prophecy." This practice led to various OCCULT activities and a form of SPIRITUALISM through the invocation of spiritual guides such as "the Pied Piper" who Mo claimed communicated with him. Prophesying the imminent destruction of California, and the whole American system, Mo told his followers to disperse throughout the world. Espousing what it called "Godly socialism," the group's main theological reference became the Mo Letters. The Children of God were one of the first NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS to receive the attention of the ANTI-CULT MOVEMENT and its activities led directly to the development of deprogramming by Ted PATRICK. One of the most highly publicized practices of the group is the use of "flirty fishing' which involves prostitution as a CONVERSION technique. Today it is an essentially underground movement with an estimated ± 2,000 members worldwide.
CHILIASM: from the Greek word meaning 1,000. Speculation about the importance of a millennia occur in many religions traditions such as ZOROASTRIANISM as well as in Greek philosophers such as PLATO. In CHRISTIANITY believers in various FORMS of millenarians, especially pre-millenialism, look for the imminent return of CHRIST.
CHINESE RELIGIONS: scholars have traditionally held the view that there were three major religious TRADITIONS in China: BUDDHISM, CONFUCIANISM and TAOISM. Today this view is challenged by a much more complex one which sees the Chinese religious tradition dynamically incorporating various religious traditions within Chinese religion. The cult of ancestors, SHAMAN and the WORSHIP of HEAVEN are important aspects of Chinese religion which took differing forms as political dynasties changed.
CHRISTADELPHIANS: an American SECT founded in 1848 by John Thomas (1805-1871) who believed in the imminent RETURN OF CHRIST, denied his DIVINITY and rejected the TRINITY. In many ways this GROUP is similar to the JEHOVAH WITNESSES which were influenced by its teachings.
CHRISTIAN: a follower of Jesus Christ. ORTHODOX THEOLOGY would expand this definition to any one being regenerated by the SPIRIT OF GOD who, through FAITH, has had his SINS forgiven by the blood of JESUS CHRIST, the INCARNATE Son of God.
CHRISTIANITY: the RELIGION of CHRISTIANS founded by JESUS OF NAZARETH, propagated by SAINT PAUL and dispersed throughout the world where it takes many FORMS. The three major groupings of CHRISTIAN Churches are: EASTERN ORTHODOX, ROMAN CATHOLICISM and PROTESTANTISM, to which a fourth group of CHARISMATIC Churches has emerged largely in the so-called Third World during the twentieth century.
CHRISTIAN MINISTRY: the offices within the CHRISTIAN CHURCH whereby individuals are appointed to preach, teach and care for members of the CONGREGATION or Christian COMMUNITY.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE: The Church of Christ Scientist founded by Mary BAKER-EDDY (1821-1910), who believed she had been healed after a severe injury in 1866. She dedicated her life to promoting a form of healing based on ideas taken from CHRISTIANITY, HINDUISM and BUDDHISM. In 1875 her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures was published, and on August 23, 1879 the CHURCH OF CHRIST SCIENTIST was incorporated in Boston. Christian Science teaches a confusing synthesis of ABRAMIC and YOGIC RELIGIONS on the premise that GOD is the "Divine Principle of all that really is."
CHRISTIAN SOCIALISM: a movement which developed in nineteenth century Britain associated with William MAURICE and Charles KINGSLEY that sought to promote social reform along SOCIALIST lines developed from CHRISTIAN social TEACHINGS.
CHRISTMAS: from the fourth century CHRISTIANS have celebrated December 25th as the date of the BIRTH of JESUS. Today the holiday has become increasingly SECULAR with concerted efforts to remove all religious content in public celebrations.
CHRISTOLOGY: that branch of THEOLOGY which deals with questions about the PERSON and WORK OF CHRIST. It covers such things as his INCARNATION and the meaning of the DEATH OF CHRIST.
CHRYSTOSTOM, John (344/345-407): around 373 he became a HERMIT but was made a DEACON in Antioch in 381 and a PRIEST in 386. His brilliant preaching led to his becoming BISHOP of Constantinople in 398 but his criticism of the morals of the Imperial Court led to his banishment in 404 and his eventual death. His sermons and Biblical exegesis had a profound affect on CALVIN and other PROTESTANT REFORMERS.
CHU HSI [Chu Tzu or Chu Yuan Hui Shushi] (1130-1200 A.D.): A celebrated Chinese CONFUCIAN scholar whose writings systematized the Confucian classics. He created a unified RATIONALISTIC PHILOSOPHY which remained the ORTHODOX Confucian view until the twentieth century.
CHUANG-TZU [Chuang Chou] (369-286 B.C.): Chinese MYSTIC and TAOIST philosopher who taught that tranquility and spontaneous natural action were the goals of life. Happiness comes about by knowing one's NATURE and living in harmony with the UNIVERSE. GOOD and EVIL are relative to one's own standards. Everything is part of a universal process of transformation. Pure experience arises when the individual becomes one with the Tao in a state of ABSOLUTE FREEDOM. Although a contemporary of MENCIUS, the two do not seem to have met neither do they refer to each others writings.
CHURCH: the word used to translate the Greek word "Ekklesia" employed in the NEW TESTAMENT to designate the community created by the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Theologically, "Church members" are those people who participate in BAPTISM, receive the gift of the HOLY SPIRIT, gather together for common WORSHIP and the celebration of the HOLY COMMUNION. Sociologically, "Church" is used to refer to a religious organization which is UNIVERSAL in its scope.
CHURCH FATHERS: the earliest CHRISTIAN writers and apologists whose work promoted the CHRISTIAN FAITH in the Roman Empire.
CHURCH OF CHRIST SCIENTIST: See CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.
CH'AN: a Chinese school of BUDDHISM which aims at the immediate awareness of REALITY through the transcendence of objectivity and subjectivity to a non-duality which is a state of BEING. This school gave rise to the Japanese school of ZEN BUDDHISM.
CH'ING MING: Chinese spring festival
CH'UN-CH'IU: one of the five CONFUCIAN classics which is traditionally attributed to Confucius himself. It is an historical narrative used for instruction to encourage goodness and right-living.
CICERO, Marcus Tullius (106-43 B.C.): probably the greatest Roman orator whose prose profoundly affected Western literature. His political essays and high moral views have had a lasting influence on Western thought.
CIRCUMCISION: a practice common in many CULTURES of cutting away the foreskin as a SYMBOL of INITIATION or manhood. In JUDAISM it became the symbol of GOD'S COVENANT with the PEOPLE OF ISRAEL. The HEBREW BIBLE, speaks about the "circumcision of the HEART," an idea which is taken up in the NEW TESTAMENT as a spiritual state rather than an outward symbol Deuteronomy 10:16 thus transforming a physical act into an inner, spiritual, commitment Philippians 3:3.
CISTERCIAN ORDER: founded in 1098 by Robert of Molesme as the White Monks, at Cîteaux in Burgundy. It is a strict religious Order based on the RULE of SAINT BENEDICT. Historically the Cistercians played an important role in the development of agriculture especially in England.
CITTA: BUDDHIST term--translated as "consciousness" or "mind." Believed to pertain to all entities which are superior to vegetable life.
CIVIL RELIGION: an idea developed by the Jean-Jacques ROUSSEAU in The Social Contract which was taken up by American sociologist Robert BELLAH to explain the development of RELIGION in America. In Bellah's usage, civil religion is a vague religious sentiment promoted by State institutions on the basis of common ideas held by all citizens and as such it avoids DOGMA, i.e. belief in CHRIST, and emphasizes an undefined BELIEF in GOD and PROVIDENCE.
CIVILIZATION: an achieved state or condition of organized SOCIAL life which expresses a sense of historical process, associated with MODERNITY. Use of the term reflects the general spirit of the ENLIGHTENMENT, with its emphasis on secular and progressive human self-development.
CLAPHAM SECT: a group of influential Englishmen, including William WILBERFORCE and Lord SHAFTESBURY, whose activities centered on the EVANGELICAL religion preached at Clapham Parish Church in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. They toiled for the ABOLITION of slavery, REFORM of child labor laws, and many other social innovations in addition to supporting MISSIONARY work and evangelical CHRISTIANITY generally.
CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (150-215 A.D.): Greek CHRISTIAN PLATONIST whose works helped create ALEXANDRIAN THEOLOGY. He emphasized the idea that in CHRIST the LOGOS of the UNIVERSE was INCARNATE. He attempted to reconcile Greek PHILOSOPHY with the CHRISTIAN RELIGION by teaching that both Greek PHILOSOPHY and the HEBREW BIBLE equally lead to CHRIST. ALLEGORICAL interpretation of the BIBLE was an important tool in his APOLOGETICS. He is the author of The Tutor, The Exhortation and Stromateis.
CLEMENT OF ROME (1st century A.D.): one of the earliest BISHOPS of Rome. One of his letters has survived which dealt with the CHRISTIAN MINISTRY but various other writings, considered unauthentic, have been ascribed to him.
CLOVIS (466-511): King of the Salian Franks who after his CONVERSION to CHRISTIANITY conquered large areas where he promoted the ORTHODOX THEOLOGY of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
CLUNIAC ORDER: an offshoot of the BENEDICTINE ORDER originating with the monastery at Cluny in Burgundy, France (founded 910) which profoundly affected the Western CHURCH in the tenth and twelfth centuries.
COBBETT, William (1763-1835): English Political journalist and essayist who used the pseudonym "Peter Porcupine." In his early pamphlets he attacked the French REVOLUTION, radicalism, and American DEMOCRACY but from l804 became a champion of radical causes.
CODEX ALEXANDRIUS: dating from the fifth century this is one of the most important manuscripts of the GREEK BIBLE.
CODEX AMIATINUS: the oldest existing manuscript of the VULGATE BIBLE (Latin version) dating from the seventh century.
CODEX SINAITICUS: one of the two oldest complete manuscripts of the GREEK BIBLE dating from the fourth century. Earlier manuscripts of the BIBLE are fragmentary and incomplete.
CODEX VATICANUS: the other fourth century manuscript of the GREEK BIBLE which with CODEX SINAITICUS are the oldest complete manuscripts of the BIBLE.
COGITO ERGO SUM: "I think, therefore I am." The central ANTI-SKEPTICAL argument of Descartes.
COHERENCE THEORY OF TRUTH: the theory that TRUTH consists in coherence to a SYSTEM of IDEAS as opposed to a relationship with EMPIRICAL REALITY. See: CORRESPONDENCE THEORY OF TRUTH.
COHERENT: that condition where the major POSTULATES are both self-consistent and fit the facts of experience.
COLENSO, John William (1814-1883): first ANGLICAN BISHOP of Natal and important pioneer of BIBLICAL CRITICISM. He gained the affection of the Zulus by refusing to compel polygamous Africans to divorce their additional wives; championing the Black cause against White settler interests; writing the first Zulu grammar, dictionary and reading books. His interaction with PAGAN Zulus led him to write a series of books in the 1860s and 1870s which challenged the literal truth of the SCRIPTURES. His correspondence with German theologians helped stimulate many critical theories. In 1866 he was charged with HERESY and EXCOMMUNICATED by the Bishop of Cape Town.
COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834): English poet, critic and philosopher whose early RATIONALISM gave way to a MYSTICAL religion influenced by BOEHME and SPINOZA. He preached against ORTHODOX PROTESTANTISM in favor of a spiritualized religiosity unhampered by the constraints of Biblical REVELATION. His ethical concerns led to his being seen as the "Father" of the Broad Church movement in ANGLICANISM which rejected both EVANGELICAL PIETY and the move towards ROMAN CATHOLICISM.
COLET, John (1467-1519): English theologian and classical scholar whose CHRISTIAN HUMANISM had a profound effect on the English REFORMATION.
COLLINGWOOD, Robin George (1889-1943): English philosopher and historian who did important work on the HISTORY of SCIENCE where he stressed the importance of religious influences and CHRISTIANITY.
COLOR, LITURGICAL: around the twelfth century CHRISTIANS began using specific colors in CHURCH services to signify the divisions of the CHRISTIAN YEAR, although general agreement of the color coding was never reached. In general, purple was used to signify DEATH and also associated with LENT; white was used at CHRISTMAS for joy; green for EASTER to signify new life.
COMENIUS, Johann Amos (1592-1670): Moravian theologian and philosopher who pioneered modern education.
COMMUNION OF SAINTS: the CHRISTIAN BELIEF that all Christians--living or dead--share a common community and will eventually be united in the KINGDOM OF GOD. In the meantime, the deceased look on and intercede for the living as well as being MYSTICALLY present in the EUCHARIST and other acts of devotion.
COMMUNION TABLE: the table used in CHRISTIAN Churches for the celebration of the EUCHARIST. In the ROMAN CATHOLIC and ORTHODOX CHURCHES it is called an ALTAR.
COMMUNITY OF THE RESURRECTION: an ANGLICAN Order of MONKS devoted to the deepening of spiritual life and the recovery of the CATHOLIC heritage of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND. Founded in 1892, the Order has been active in missionary and educational work throughout the world.
COMPARATIVE RELIGION: the study of comparative religion began with the Greek historian XENOPHANES in the sixth century B.C. when he observed that Thracians and Ethiopians both depicted their GODS after their own image. Although writers like SAINT AUGUSTINE made some acute observations on the differences between religions it was not until the THEORY of EVOLUTION gained popularity in the late nineteenth century that the serious study of comparative religion began. Under the influence of DARWIN, various scholars discovered what they believed to be evolutionary links between different religions. Max MULLER, E. B. TAYLOR and Sir James FRAZER were among the founders of the "new" science. In Britain the study of non-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS tended to be linked to the needs of empire and had a more ANTHROPOLOGICAL bias than the theologically orientated Americans. In Germany it was the history of religions in an essentially evolutionary and HEGALIAN framework which predominated.
During the 1960s comparative religion, renamed "RELIGIOUS STUDIES," became a popular course in many American universities and the great increase in Asian immigration encouraged this trend. At its crudest, comparative religion teaches that all religions are essentially equal and originate from one underlying reality. Thus the TEN COMMANDMENTS, SERMON ON THE MOUNT, the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS of BUDDHISM and HINDU teachings derived from the BHAGAVAD-GTA are sometimes seen as being essentially the same.
One fundamental problem for the more popular forms of comparative religion is that upon closer study the teachings of the major world religions are at least as different as they are similar. THERAVDA BUDDHISM presents a strong argument against the crudest forms of comparative religion because of its rejection of the importance of BELIEF in GOD, or Gods, and denial of the existence of an individual self. Similarly many religions, like ISLAM, do not separate religion and politics as JUDAISM and CHRISTIANITY do. The rise of new religious movements in Western society, often called CULTS, emphasizes the inter-connectedness of the world. Today, for the first time since the Roman Empire, Western Christians live in a religiously plural world. See: E. J. Sharpe, Comparative Religion: A History; Ninian Smart, Reasons and Faiths; H. G. Coward, Pluralism: Challenge to World Religions; J. H. Bavinck, The Church Between Temple and Mosque; and Hendrik Kraemer, World Cultures and World Religions.
COMTE, Auguste (1798-1857): French POSITIVIST philosopher and one of the founders of SOCIOLOGY. His major work is The System of Positive Policy (1875-1877 4 Vols.).
CONCEPT: an idea or MEANING which the mind gives to a UNIVERSAL term; e.g. justice.
CONCLAVE: a term used in the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH for an official meeting of CARDINALS.
CONCORDANCE: a reference work which locates specific words in a religious text such as the BIBLE or QUR'N.
CONCORDAT: an agreement between the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH and SECULAR authorities.
CONDITIONAL IMMORTALITY: the belief that the SOUL is not intrinsically immortal but must prove its worth or be annihilated.
CONFESSION: a religious RITUAL in which the believer confesses their SINS to a PRIEST or to other believers.
CONFIRMATION: the RITUAL by which individuals who were baptized as children are admitted into full communion in the CHURCH.
CONFUCIUS [Kung Fu Tzu] (551-479 B.C.): little is known about his background except that he was orphaned and grew up in poverty. He came to believe that he had a mission to bring peace and GOOD government to China but during his life he gained little success and died in obscurity. He is distinguished by his ethical rather than his religious teachings the main idea of which is the TAO, or Way of Heaven, should be followed by all men. He placed great emphasis on loyalty and the cultivation of humanity and taught that inner goodness finds expression in outward behavior. Following his death, his views became the basis of the Chinese understanding of the family, social and political life. His ideas are found in The Analects of Confucius compiled by his followers.
CONGREGATION: the gathered assembly of Christians belonging to a local CHURCH.
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH: the movement, sometimes called "Independents," arose out of the English REFORMATION and PURITANISM as a result of local CONGREGATIONS separating from the CHURCH OF ENGLAND to chose their own MINISTERS, ELDERS and DEACONS. Claiming autonomy for each local CONGREGATION, they argued that separate congregations must help and advise each other without imposing external authority on the local leadership. The congregational system of CHURCH government has been adapted by many other groups including the BAPTISTS and many PENTECOSTAL denominations.
CONGREGATIONALISM: the theological doctrine relating to CHURCH GOVERNMENT which says that the local CONGREGATION ought to be the seat of authority, i.e. all decisions about the appointment of Ministers, beliefs etc., and should be decided at the local level by members of the CONGREGATION and not by BISHOPS or other centralized bodies such as PRESBYTERIES.
CONSERVATIVE: a person who seeks to conserve. Politically conservatives are identified with Edmund BURKE who advocated gradual REFORM rather than REVOLUTION. Theologically conservatives seek to defend TRADITIONAL, historic or ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY. They accept the BIBLE as GOD'S REVELATION to mankind, share a SUPERNATURAL VISION of the UNIVERSE and a CHALCEDONIAN interpretation of the PERSON OF CHRIST.
CONSTANTINE THE GREAT (288-337 A.D.): the Roman Emperor who in 313 A.D. accorded legal recognition to CHRISTIANITY and encouraged its acceptance as the RELIGION of the Roman Empire. In 325 he summoned the COUNCIL OF NICEA to discuss CHRISTOLOGICAL issues and in 331 he moved the seat of the empire to Constantinople. He was baptized on his deathbed.
CONTINGENT: dependent, fortuitous, accidental.
CONTRADICTION, LAW OF: a proposition cannot be and not be true at the same time. The same attribute cannot at the same time be affirmed and denied of the same subject. The basis of TRADITIONAL LOGIC as understood by ARISTOTLE.
CONVERSION: a radical change, transformation, a turning around. In CHRISTIANITY it is often referred to as being "born again" or being "saved."
CONZE, Edward (1904-?): English born, German Communist who fled Nazi Germany to take refuge in England in 1933 where he converted to BUDDHISM and became the greatest interpreter of Buddhism to the West. His book Buddhism: Its Essence and Development (1951) is the best single introduction to Buddhism while his Buddhist Thought in India (1962) remains an undervalued classic. His autobiography The Memoirs of a Modern Gnostic (1979) is entertaining reading for anyone wishing to understand modern religious thought.
COPERNICUS, Nicholas (1473-1543): ROMAN CATHOLIC Priest and astronomer known for his THEORY of the UNIVERSE which overturned the Ptolemaic system of antiquity.
COPTIC CHURCH: an African form of CHRISTIANITY which flourished in Egypt and Ethiopia. The Copts often practiced communal BAPTISM and have at times been monophysite in their CHRISTOLOGY. MONASTICISM has played an important role in Coptic religion.
CORRELATIVE: a thing which stands in reciprocal relation to another depending upon the other for its meaning; e.g. father and son, truth and error.
CORRESPONDENCE THEORY OF TRUTH: is the view that truth consists in its correspondence to REALITY and not in ABSTRACT IDEAS. See: the COHERENCE THEORY OF TRUTH.
COSMIC: of the cosmos or relating to the UNIVERSE. In the NEW AGE MOVEMENT and various modern forms of YOGIC RELIGION the term has become quite meaningless because it is used to give scientific legitimacy to various PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC ideas.
COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: an attempt to prove the existence of GOD from the empirical fact that things exist. The argument is based on the view that being contingent the UNIVERSE requires the existence of a non-contingent God. Although the argument was savaged by David HUME, and is generally neglected today, it has been revived by various philosophers such as H. A. Meynell in his book The Intelligible Universe (1982).
COSMOLOGY: a series of related arguments and inquiries about the NATURE of the UNIVERSE in general and the world in particular. In RELIGION, cosmology refers to beliefs about the origins of things and the relationship between human affairs and the cosmos: How is GOD, or Gods, related to life and the world?
COUNCIL, BUDDHIST: all BUDDHISTS recognize three Great Councils. The first held at Rjagha, after the death of the GAUTAMA, around 480 B.C. set out to determine the authentic teachings of the BUDDHA as outlined in the early CANON. The second, held at Vail a century later, discussed specific practices, and the third held at Paliputra, during the reign of the Emperor ASOKA, around 250 B.C. set out to promote harmony and limit sectarian disputes. THERAVDIN BUDDHISTS recognize six councils in all--the last being held in Rangoon in 1956.
COUNCIL, CHURCH: throughout CHRISTIAN HISTORY Councils of the CHURCH have been held to determine correct or ORTHODOX doctrine. The first recorded Council of Church leaders was held in JERUSALEM around 48 A.D. to discuss the admission of GENTILE converts into the Christian community. All Christians recognize four ECUMENICAL Councils: NICENE (325 A.D.); CONSTANTINOPLE (381 A.D.); EPHESUS (431 A.D.); and CHALCEDON (451 A.D.). The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH claims a total of twenty-one Councils while other Churches count them differently. REFORMATION meetings which produced such documents as the AUGSBURG CONFESSION; BELGIC CONFESSION; WESTMINSTER CONFESSION; and the CANON OF DORT were, in effect, PROTESTANT Councils. Similarly the ORTHODOX Churches recognize a number of Councils of their own such as the COUNCIL of TRULLAN (692 A.D.).
COUNTER CULTURE: the SOCIAL movement which emerged in Haight Asbury in 1967 in connection with the HIPPIES. It was a social protest against Western cultural values and a SPIRITUAL search for alternate realities at first found through the use of hallucinogen drugs and later through YOGIC RELIGIONS. The counter culture paved the way for the NEW AGE MOVEMENT and is best summarized in The Making of a Counter-Culture (1970) by Theodore ROSZAK.
COUNTER REFORMATION: a reform movement in ROMAN CATHOLICISM during the sixteenth century which sought to purify the CHURCH and combat the PROTESTANT REFORMATION.
COVENANT: a HEBREW religious idea which conceives of God's relationship to mankind in terms of a contract in which GOD imposes conditions that humans are required to fulfill in return for BLESSINGS. In the HEBREW BIBLE the idea of covenant defines the relationship between the JEWISH people and God. In CHRISTIANITY the idea is developed in terms of a "new covenant" brought into existence by the LIFE and DEATH of CHRIST.
COVENANTERS: Scottish PROTESTANTS who resisted the imposition of EPISCOPAL forms of CHURCH government on the Scottish Church by Charles I by signing a National COVENANT to maintain PROTESTANT forms of WORSHIP in Scotland. This action was important in terms of its influence on the development of DEMOCRACY and the American REVOLUTION.
COVERDALE, Miles (1488-1568): early translator of the ENGLISH BIBLE and important PROTESTANT leader during the REFORMATION.
COW: the most SACRED animal in the HINDU tradition.
COWPER, William (1731-1800): English poet who wrote such famous HYMNS as "O For a Closer Walk with God," and "God Moves in a Mysterious Way."
CRANMER, Thomas (1489-1556): ARCHBISHOP of CANTERBURY And prominent PROTESTANT REFORMER whose prose the Book of Common Prayer (1552) helped shape the English language. He was burnt at the stake for HERESY during the reign of MARY TUDOR, Queen of England and Ireland.
CRAVING: the BUDDHIST HOLY TRUTH that through ignorance we are bound to the WHEEL of EXISTENCE by craving.
CREATIO EX NIHILO: the traditional CHRISTIAN doctrine that GOD CREATED the UNIVERSE "out of nothing." This is an important BELIEF because it seeks to deny that God used pre-existing matter and therefore that the CREATION might be ONTOLOGICALLY flawed from the very beginning. Instead Christians attribute the presence of EVIL to the FALL.
CREATION: an important doctrine in traditional CHRISTIANITY, JUDAISM and ISLAM where GOD is the sole creator of the UNIVERSE and all things. Some other religious traditions incorporate a view of creation, others deny it any special place in their BELIEF systems, while many see GOD, or Gods, created out of pre-existing matter and some even view creation as an emanation of God. The doctrine of creation is important because of its implications for the related problems of EVIL and human SALVATION.
CREATIONISM: the BELIEF that humans and the entire UNIVERSE owe their existence to GOD. In recent years the word has been "hijacked" by FUNDAMENTALISTS who insist that such a belief implies a literal six day CREATION 6,000 years ago. This view is the result of nineteenth century RATIONALISM entering CHRISTIANITY and not supported by the BIBLE where the creation story does not specify the time and date of creation.
CREDO QUIA ABSURDIUM: a Latin saying attributed to TERTULLIAN translated as "I believe because it is absurd" who intended it to mean that the Gospel found in the NEW TESTAMENT is so astonishing that no human being could have invented it. The saying is often misused to imply ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM.
CREED: from the Latin credo: "I believe." Creeds are a distinctive feature of CHRISTIANITY. Athough well developed creeds do not occur in the BIBLE, rather rudimentary creedal forms found there provide models for later statements; e.g. Deuteronomy 26:5-9; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5; Romans 1:3-4; and 10:9-10. In CHRISTIAN HISTORY three creeds have achieved particular prominence: (1) the APOSTLES' creed was supposedly written by the Apostles; (2) the NICENE creed which embodies in altered form, and without the anathemas, the CHRISTOLOGICAL teaching of the Council of Nicaea adopted in answer to ARIANISM and probably rests on creeds from Jerusalem and Antioch; (3) commonly called the ATHANASIAN creed and is popularly attributed to ATHANASIUS but it is thought to be a fourth or fifth century Canticle of unknown authorship. As a direct statement of Trinitarian belief it became the test of ORTHODOXY and competence of the clergy in the West from the seventh century on. The REFORMERS valued it highly while the ANGLICANS made liturgical use of it. But the Eastern, or GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH, refused to recognize it.
CREMATION: the disposal of the corpse by burning. Although opposed by many CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM religions it was a religious RITE in HINDUISM.
CRISIS THEOLOGY: a term used for the DIALECTICAL THEOLOGY of twentieth century theologians like Karl BARTH who were influenced by EXISTENTIALISM.
CROCE, Benedetto (1866-1952): Italian philosopher whose work on the philosophy of HISTORY strongly influenced R. J. COLLINGWOOD.
CROMWELL, Oliver (1599-1658): English PURITAN general and democrat who championed the rights of commoners against King Charles I and aristocracy. He founded the New Model Army which he led to victory in the English Civil War. After Charles I threatened a second civil war, Cromwell supported his execution. He ruthlessly subdued the Royalist rebellion in Ireland (1649-1650) believing that his actions would prevent further bloodshed. He was made Lord Protector in 1653 and ruled by ordinances confirmed by Parliament. He reorganized the CHURCH OF ENGLAND, protected QUAKERS and JEWS and favored religious toleration. His actions ensured that England would be ruled by Parliament and not ABSOLUTE Kings.
CROWLEY, Alister (1875-1947): after growing up in a PLYMOUTH BRETHREN home he rejected CHRISTIANITY to become the leading English OCCULTIST of the twentieth century. A bi-sexual drug addict, who scorned social convention, he proclaimed himself the ANTI-CHRIST and took the title "the Beast." After an exaggerated life he died in abject poverty and despair.
CROWTHER, Samuel Ajayi (1806-1891): born in Nigeria and enslaved as a child he was liberated by the British navy and taken to Sierra Leone where he became a CHRISTIAN in 1825. Ordained in 1843 he became the ANGLICAN BISHOP of West Africa in 1864 and led the Niger Mission which attempted to create a self-supporting Black CHURCH. Conflict with racist White MISSIONARIES plagued his latter years.
CRUCIFIX: an image of JESUS hanging on the Cross.
CRUSADES: medieval religious wars in which CHRISTIANS sought to regain Jerusalem from its MUSLIM conquerors following its capture by the Turks in 1071.
CRUSIUS, Christian August (1712-1775): German PIETIST philosopher and theologian who opposed the RATIONALISM of WOLFF and LEIBNIZ and strongly influenced KANT. His books include: Sketch of Necessary Rational Truths (1745).
CRYPTO: a prefix used to designate a BELIEF which is so similar to another formally denied belief that in fact it represents a disguised form of the repudiated system. For example: some critics say that the HINDU scholar AKARA was a "crypto-Buddhist," meaning that his teachings are so close to BUDDHISM that even though he denied being a BUDDHIST he really was one.
CULDEES: IRISH Monks originating in the eighth century who lived in GROUPS of thirteen. In the nineteenth century they became the subject of NEO-PAGAN speculation and were erroneously linked to the Druids. This usage has passed into various NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS of the twentieth century seeking to establish legitimacy for ESOTERIC BELIEFS.
CULLAVAMSA: the "Short Chronicle" which continues the "Long Chronicle" depicting the BUDDHIST HISTORY of Ceylon.
CULT: a controversial and misunderstood word greatly misused by the media where it means a GROUP nobody likes through association with BRAINWASHING. In THEOLOGY the term "cult" has been used to refer to forms of WORSHIP and the RITUALS associated with them such as those at the JERUSALEM TEMPLE in ANCIENT JUDAISM. Sociologically, it refers to small religious groups which are in tension with established religious TRADITIONS and society generally. Rodney STARK and William Sims BAINBRIDGE give an OPERATIONAL DEFINITION of cult as: "a religious body which does not have a prior tie with another established religious body in the society in question. The cult may represent an alien (external) religion, or it may have originated in the host society, but through innovation, not fusion. Whether domestic or imported, the cult is something new vis-á-vis the other religious bodies in the society in question." On the basis of this definition, they identify three types of cult: "Audience Cults" which resemble a very loose lecture circuit where people participate in lectures, seminars and workshops as well as buying books and subscribing to magazines which promote a general spiritual point of view. "Client Cults" where mobilization is partial, rather than all embracing and people participate as clients, for example attending occasional SPIRITUALIST meetings, when they have specific needs rather than join as members. Finally, there are "Cult Movements" proper where membership is required and there is a development toward the status of a SECT.
CULTURE: from the Latin "to till or cultivate." Generally it has come to mean the fabric of human endeavor in a society and as such embraces both arts and sciences. Sometimes it is contrasted with CIVILIZATION which is taken as a highly developed stage of culture.
CUNEIFORM: the ancient SCRIPT used in the Near East which was invented by the SUMERIANS.
CUSTOM: an habitual action. What has been passed on from the past or developed recently as a repetitive act or series of actions that underpins social life.
CUTHBERT (7th century A.D.): BISHOP of LINDISFARNE and famous British SAINT.
CYNICISM: a school of Greek PHILOSOPHY dating to the fifth century B.C. which taught living a simple life and rigorous self control. Because of their ridicule of social mores and personal follies, cynicism became associated with a negative attitude of defeatism and scorn for any enterprise.
CYPRIAN (3rd century A.D.): early CHRISTIAN martyr who became BISHOP of Carthage. His book On the Unity of the Catholic Church (251) did much to promote the ascendancy of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH in the West. He is famous for his saying "He who does not have the Church as his Mother cannot have God as his Father."
CYRIL (826-869): known as "the APOSTLE to the Slavs" he played an important role in the CONVERSION of the Slavs to CHRISTIANITY.