Church

Church

[church]
Church, Benjamin, 1639-1718, New England colonial soldier in King Philip's War, b. Plymouth, Mass. He took a leading part in the Great Swamp Fight (Dec., 1675), W of Kingston, R.I., and finally hunted down and killed Philip in Aug., 1676.
Church, Frederick Edwin, 1826-1900, American landscape painter of the Hudson River school, b. Hartford, Conn., studied with Thomas Cole at Catskill, N.Y. He traveled and painted in North and South America and in Europe and excelled in panoramic scenes. He painted exotic and foreign landscapes as well as the native scenery favored by other members of the school. His large canvases are noted for the accuracy and clarity of the scenery portrayed, and for a crystalline rendering of light that links him to luminism. Notable works include Niagara (1857; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.) and Heart of the Andes (1859; Metropolitan Mus., New York City).

See studies by G. L. Carr (1981) and F. Kelly (1989).

Church, Sir Richard, 1784-1873, British army officer. After varied service, he organized a Greek regiment to defend (1812-15) the Ionian Islands, and in 1827 he was made generalissimo of the Greek insurgents in the Greek War of Independence. Residing in Greece, he subsequently engaged in politics there and was made (1854) a general in the Greek army.
Church, Richard William, 1815-90, English Anglican clergyman. He was educated at Oxford, where he became a follower of John Henry Newman. As dean of St. Paul's (1871-90) he did much to disseminate High Church doctrine. His book The Oxford Movement (1891) was long the authoritative work on the subject. In 1846 he helped found the Guardian, an Anglican newspaper.

See his life and letters (ed. by his daughter, 1894).

church [probably Gr.,=divine], aggregation of Christian believers. The traditional belief has the church the community of believers, living and dead, headed by Jesus, who founded it in the apostles. This is the doctrine of the mystical body of Christ (Eph. 1.22-23). Some divisions speak of the church militant (the living), the church suffering (the dead in purgatory), and the church triumphant (the saints of heaven). The church is said to be recognizable by four marks (as in the Nicene Creed): it is one (united), holy (producing holy lives), catholic (universal, supranational), and apostolic (having continuity with the apostles). In the Orthodox Eastern Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Church of England, crucial importance is attached to the unbroken tradition, as handed down through the Holy Ghost (see apostolic succession); with this doctrine goes the apostolic power to administer grace through the sacraments. Certain men of the Reformation rejected the doctrine of apostolic succession and substituted for the authority of the church the authority of Scripture alone. Protestants generally interpret the oneness of the church in a mystical sense; the true church is held to be invisibly present in all Christian denominations. The ecumenical movement in recent years has stimulated fresh study on the doctrine of the church.
church [Gr. kuriakon=belonging to the Lord], in architecture, a building for Christian worship. The earliest churches date from the late 3d cent.; before then Christians, because of persecutions, worshiped secretly, especially in private houses. In Rome and some other cities Christians worshiped at the martyrs' tombs in the underground cemeteries, or catacombs. The catacomb chapel influenced the furnishing of churches, particularly the crypt. The basilica form came to be standard in Western Europe, while in the East the norm became the square church of Byzantine architecture (see Byzantine art and architecture), derived from the shape of the Greek cross. The interior of the Eastern church is characterized by an image screen (iconostasis) rendering the sanctuary invisible to the lay worshipers, except that the altar may be seen through the doors of the screen. In the West, modifications of the basilica were developed in Romanesque architecture and in Gothic architecture. Renaissance and baroque architecture produced innovations in ecclesiastical design. Western churches in general have an east-west orientation with the altar at the eastern end. In America, Colonial architects developed an austerely beautiful type of spired church, patterned after the works of Christopher Wren and James Gibbs. Churches differ in importance according to their constitution and the position in the hierarchy of their clergy, the cathedral being the bishop's church. See chapel; abbey; Hagia Sophia; Saint Peter's Church; articles on other important churches.

Type of medieval Norwegian wooden church. The stone foundation supports four horizontal wooden members, from which rise four corner posts, or staves, which are joined together by four upper crossbeams. From this boxlike frame, timbers extend outward, supporting a series of uprights, or masts. There may be four or more ranks of masts, with an equal number of triangular frames of diminishing size rising above them. The church at Borgund (circa 1150) is one of about 24 surviving examples. Its six tiers of double-sloped roofs, shell-like exterior shingles, and elaborate carvings of dragons and other motifs give it its remarkably picturesque and vigorous appearance.

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Type of church with side aisles approximately equal in height to the nave, unlike the typical basilica. The interior is lit by large aisle windows instead of a clerestory, with chapels sometimes arranged alongside the nave. Hall churches originated in Germany and were characteristic of the Late Gothic period there. Special features of German hall churches include lofty nave arcades and immense roofs. St. Elizabeth in Marburg (circa 1257–83) is an archetypal example.

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In music, any one of eight scalar modes employed for medieval liturgical melodies. The modal system was conceived for the purpose of codifying plainchant (see Gregorian chant); the names of the modes were borrowed from the system used by the ancient Greeks, though the Greek system was inadequately understood and the connection between the two is illusory. The modes are distinguished according to the note used as the final (last note) and the emphasis placed on another note, called the dominant. The Dorian mode's final is D, the Phrygian mode's is E, the Lydian mode's is F, and the Mixolydian's is G. Each of these four original modes had a parallel mode (Hypodorian, Hypophrygian, Hypolydian, and Hypomixolydian) with a lower range. Though they principally employ the tones A-B-C-D-E-F-G, some replace B with B-flat. In the 16th century, further modes were identified—the Aeolian, on A, and the Ionian, on C (corresponding to modern minor and major). The mode on B was ignored because of B's problematic tonal relationship within the scale.

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Relationship between religious and secular authority in society. In most ancient civilizations the separation of religious and political orders was not clearly defined. With the advent of Christianity, the idea of two separate orders emerged, based on Jesus's command to “Render unto Caesar what are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's” (Mark 12:17). The close association of religion and politics, however, continued even after the triumph of Christianity as emperors such as Constantine exercised authority over both church and state. In the early Middle Ages secular rulers claimed to rule by the grace of God, and later in the Middle Ages popes and emperors competed for universal dominion. During the Investiture Controversy the church clearly defined separate and distinct religious and secular orders, even though it laid the foundation for the so-called papal monarchy. The Reformation greatly undermined papal authority, and the pendulum swung toward the state, with many monarchs claiming to rule church and state by divine right. The concept of secular government, as evinced in the U.S. and postrevolutionary France, was influenced by Enlightenment thinkers. In western Europe today all states protect freedom of worship and maintain a distinction between civil and religious authority. The legal systems of some modern Islamic countries are based on Sharīaynah. In the U.S. the separation of church and state has been tested in the arena of public education by controversies over issues such as school prayer, public funding of parochial schools, and the teaching of creationism.

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In Christian doctrine, the religious community as a whole, or an organized body of believers adhering to one sect's teachings. The word church translates the Greek ekklesia, used in the New Testament for the body of faithful and the local congregation. Christians established congregations modeled on the synagogue and a system of governance centred on the bishop. The Nicene Creed characterized the church as one (unified), holy (created by the Holy Spirit), catholic (universal), and apostolic (historically continuous with the Apostles). The schism of Eastern and Western churches (1054) and the Reformation (16th century) ended institutional unity and universality. St. Augustine stated that the real church is known only to God, and Martin Luther held that the true church had members in many Christian bodies and was independent of any organization.

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officially Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity

Religious movement founded (1954) in South Korea by Sun Myung Moon. Influenced by yin-yang principles and Korean shamanism, it seeks to establish divine rule on earth through the restoration of the family, based on the union of the Lord and Lady of the Second Advent (believed to be Moon and his wife, Hak Ja Han). It strives to fulfill what it asserts to be the uncompleted mission of Jesus—procreative marriage. The church has been criticized for its recruitment policies (said to include brainwashing) and business practices. Its mass marriage ceremonies have gained press attention. Its worldwide membership is about 200,000 in more than 100 countries.

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also called Episcopal Church in the United States of America or Protestant Episcopal Church

Descendant of the Church of England in the U.S. Part of the Anglican Communion, it was formally organized in 1789 as the successor of the Church of England in the former British colonies. The church accepts both the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, as well as a modified version of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. The highest authority in the church is the General Convention, which is headed by the presiding bishop (elected by the House of Bishops). The Reformed Episcopal Church broke away from the main body in 1873. The church accepted the ordination of women in 1976. In 1988 the church elected its first woman bishop, and in 2003 an openly gay man was consecrated bishop of New Hampshire. These steps generated controversy within the church as well as among other churches of the Anglican Communion.

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International movement established in the U.S. by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. He introduced his ideas to the general public in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (1950). Dianetics sought to free subjects from the destructive imprints of past experiences, called engrams. Later Hubbard moved toward a structured system of belief involving the human soul, or thetan (each person's spiritual self), and the origins of life and the universe. The organization has often been the subject of controversy.

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officially Church of Christ, Scientist

Religious denomination founded in the U.S. in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy. Like other Christian churches, Christian Science subscribes to an omnipotent God and the authority (but not inerrancy) of the Bible and takes the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus as essential to human redemption. It departs from traditional Christianity in considering Jesus divine but not a deity and in regarding creation as wholly spiritual. Sin denies God's sovereignty by claiming that life derives from matter. Spiritual cure of disease is a necessary element of redemption from the flesh and one of the church's most controversial practices. Most members refuse medical help for disease, and members engaged in the full-time healing ministry are called Christian Science practitioners. Elected readers lead Sunday services based on readings from the Bible and Eddy's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. At the end of the 20th century, the church had about 2,500 congregations in 70 countries; its headquarters is at the Mother Church in Boston. Seealso New Thought.

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or Swedenborgians

Church whose members follow the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg did not himself found a church, but he believed that his writings would be the basis of a “new church,” which he associated with the “new Jerusalem” mentioned in the Book of Revelation. In 1788, soon after his death, a group of his followers established a church in London. The first Swedenborgian society in the U.S. was organized in Baltimore in 1792. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two sacraments of the church, and New Church Day (June 19) is added to the established Christian festivals. There are three New Church groups: the General Conference of the New Church, the General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the U.S.A., and the General Church of the New Jerusalem.

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or peyotism

Religious movement among North American Indians involving the drug peyote. Peyote was first used to induce supernatural visions in Mexico in pre-Columbian times; its use extended north into the Great Plains in the 19th century, and peyotism is now practiced among more than 50 tribes. Peyotist beliefs, which combine Indian and Christian elements, vary from tribe to tribe. They involve worship of the Great Spirit, a supreme deity who deals with humans through various other spirits. In many tribes peyote is personified as Peyote Spirit and is associated with Jesus. The rite often begins on Saturday evening and continues through the night. The Peyote Road is a way of life calling for brotherly love, family care, self-support through work, and avoidance of alcohol.

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Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of a sect closely related to it (e.g., the Community of Christ). The Mormon religion was founded by Joseph Smith, who claimed to have received an angelic vision telling him of the location of golden plates containing God's revelation; this he published in 1830 as the Book of Mormon. Smith and his followers accepted the Bible as well as the Mormon sacred scriptures but diverged significantly from orthodox Christianity, especially in their assertion that God exists in three distinct entities as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mormons also believe that faithful members of the church will inherit eternal life as gods. Other unique doctrines include the belief in preexisting souls waiting to be born and in salvation of the dead through retroactive baptism. The church became notorious for its practice of polygamy, though it was officially sanctioned only between 1852 and 1890. Smith and his followers migrated from Palmyra, N.Y., to Ohio, Missouri, and finally Illinois, where Smith was killed by a mob in 1844. In 1846–47, under Brigham Young, the Mormons made a 1,100-mi (1,800-km) trek to Utah, where they founded Salt Lake City. In the early 21st century, the church had a worldwide membership of nearly 10 million, swelled yearly by the missionary work that church members, both men and women, are encouraged to perform.

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also called Episcopal Church in the United States of America or Protestant Episcopal Church

Descendant of the Church of England in the U.S. Part of the Anglican Communion, it was formally organized in 1789 as the successor of the Church of England in the former British colonies. The church accepts both the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed, as well as a modified version of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. The highest authority in the church is the General Convention, which is headed by the presiding bishop (elected by the House of Bishops). The Reformed Episcopal Church broke away from the main body in 1873. The church accepted the ordination of women in 1976. In 1988 the church elected its first woman bishop, and in 2003 an openly gay man was consecrated bishop of New Hampshire. These steps generated controversy within the church as well as among other churches of the Anglican Communion.

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English national church and the mother church of the Anglican Communion. Christianity was brought to England in the 2nd century, and though nearly destroyed by the Anglo-Saxon invasions, it was reestablished after the mission of St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597. Medieval conflicts between church and state culminated in Henry VIII's break with Roman Catholicism in the Reformation. When the pope refused to annul Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the king issued the Act of Supremacy (1534), which declared the English monarch to be head of the Church of England. Under Henry's successor, Edward VI, more Protestant reforms were instituted. After a five-year Catholic reaction under Mary I, Elizabeth I ascended the throne (1558), and the Church of England was reestablished. The Book of Common Prayer (1549) and the Thirty-nine Articles (1571) became the standards for liturgy and doctrine. The rise of Puritanism in the 17th century led to the English Civil Wars; during the Commonwealth the Church of England was suppressed, but it was reestablished in 1660. The evangelical movement in the 18th century emphasized the church's Protestant heritage, while the Oxford movement in the 19th century emphasized its Roman Catholic heritage. The Church of England has maintained an episcopal form of government, and its leader is the archbishop of Canterbury. In 1992 the church voted to ordain women as priests. In the U.S., the Protestant Episcopal Church is descended from and remains associated with the Church of England.

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German Bekennende Kirche

Movement for revival within the German Protestant churches that developed in the 1930s in resistance to Adolf Hitler's attempt to make the churches an instrument of Nazi propaganda and politics. The Confessing Church, whose leaders included Martin Niemöller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, opposed Hitler's “German Christians” and was forced underground as Nazi pressure intensified. The movement continued in World War II, though it was hampered by the conscription of clergy and laity. In 1948 the church ceased to exist when the reorganized Evangelical Church was formed.

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Any of various conservative Protestant churches found mainly in the U.S. Each congregation is autonomous in government, with elders, deacons, and a minister or ministers; there is no national administrative organization. These churches originated in the early 19th century with the Disciples of Christ movement, which relied on the Bible as the only standard of Christian faith and worship. Controversies split the movement, and the Churches of Christ designated those congregations that opposed organized mission societies and the use of instrumental music in worship. After their separation from the Disciples, the Churches of Christ continued to grow. Worship services consist of prayer, preaching, unaccompanied singing, and the Lord's Supper.

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Any of various conservative Protestant churches found mainly in the U.S. Each congregation is autonomous in government, with elders, deacons, and a minister or ministers; there is no national administrative organization. These churches originated in the early 19th century with the Disciples of Christ movement, which relied on the Bible as the only standard of Christian faith and worship. Controversies split the movement, and the Churches of Christ designated those congregations that opposed organized mission societies and the use of instrumental music in worship. After their separation from the Disciples, the Churches of Christ continued to grow. Worship services consist of prayer, preaching, unaccompanied singing, and the Lord's Supper.

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Member of a Christian sect that originated in Asia Minor and Syria in the 5th century AD, inspired by the views of Nestorius. Nestorians stressed the independence of Christ's divine and human natures. Nestorian scholars played a prominent role in the formation of Arab culture after the Arab conquest of Persia; Nestorianism also spread to India, China, Egypt, and Central Asia, where certain tribes were almost entirely converted. Today the Nestorians are represented by the Church of the East, or Persian church, usually referred to in the West as the Assyrian or Nestorian church. Most of its members, who number more than 200,000, live in Iraq, Syria, and Iran.

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African American Methodist denomination formally organized in 1816. It originated with a group of black Philadelphians who withdrew in 1787 from St. George's Methodist Episcopal Church (see Methodism) because of racial discrimination and built Bethel African Methodist Church. In 1799 Richard Allen became minister of Bethel, and in 1816 he was consecrated bishop of the newly organized African Methodist Episcopal Church. Limited at first to the Northern states, the church spread rapidly in the South after the Civil War. It founded many colleges and seminaries, notably Wilberforce University (1856) in Ohio. In the late 20th century the church claimed 3,500,000 members and 8,000 congregations. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C.

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In English usage, Minster is an honorific title attached to certain major medieval churches. Most of the best known were cathedrals in the medieval period, such as York Minster, Lincoln Cathedral and Lichfield Cathedral. Others retaining this title were once collegiate churches, such as Beverley Minster, Ripon Cathedral and Southwell Minster, although the latter two have since been elevated to cathedral status.

Overview

The word derives from the Old English "mynster", meaning "monastery", "nunnery", "mother church" or "cathedral", itself derived from the Latin "monasterium", meaning a group of clergy living a communal life. Thus, "minster" could apply to any church whose clergy followed a formal rule: as for example a monastery or a chapter; or simply to a church served by a less formal group of clergy living communally. In the earliest days of the English Church, from the 6th to the 8th centuries, minsters, in their various forms, constituted the only form of Christian insitution with a permanent site, and indeed at the beginning of the period, the only form of permanent collective settlement in a culture where there were no towns or cities; and where kings, nobles and bishops were continually on the move, with their respective retinues, from estate to estate.

Minsters were commonly founded by the king, or by a royal thegn, receiving a royal charter and a corporate endowment of bookland and other customary agricultural rights and entitlements within a broad territory; as well as exemption from certain forms of customary service (especially military). The superior of the minster would generally be from the family of the founder, and its primary purpose was to support the king and the thegn in the regular worship of the divine office; especially through intercession in times of war. Minsters are also said to have been founded, or extensively endowed, in expiation of royal crimes; as for example Minster-in-Thanet. Minsters might acquire pastoral and missionary responsibilities, but initially this appear to have been of secondary importance. In the 9th Century, almost all English minsters suffered severely from the depredations of Viking invaders; and even when a body of clergy continued, any form of regular monastic life typically ceased.

Following the English recovery, in the 10th century, surviving minsters were often refounded in accordance with the new types of collective religious bodies then becoming widespread in Western Europe, as monasteries following the reformed Benedictine rule, or as collegiate church or cathedral chapters following the rule of Chrodegang of Metz. Consequently by the 11th Century, a hierarchy of minsters became apparent; cathedral churches, or head minsters having pre-eminence within a diocese; surviving old minsters being pre-eminent within an area broadly equivalent to an administrative hundred; while newer lesser minsters and field churches were increasingly proliferating on local estates. Of particular importance for these developments, was the royal enforcement in this period of tithe as a compulsory religious levy on arable production. This vastly increased the resources available to support clergy; but at the same time strongly motivated local landowners to found their own local churches, so as to retain tithe income within their own estates. In the 11th and 12th centuries local estate churches, typically served by individual priests, developed into the network of parishes familiar to this day. The old minsters, mostly then became parish churches; their former pre-eminence acknowledged by the occasional retention of the honorific title; and sometimes by the continued recognition of former estate churches within their ancient territories as being, in some degree, of subsidiary status and dignity.

In England, in addition to the cathedrals mentioned previously, the following are large churches, which may have been collegiate before the reformation but are not the seat of a diocesan bishop:

Where a minster subseqently became monastic, the former status may survive in a place name; as in Westminster Abbey, or Leominster Priory. The name "Peterborough Minster" is now applied to a district of Peterborough, but not to Peterborough Cathedral.

The title "Stoke Minster" was conferred on the parish church of St. Peter ad Vincula in Stoke-upon-Trent by The Rt. Revd. Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield, at a ceremony on May 17, 2005, and St Thomas's in Newport, Isle of Wight, was granted a similar title in 2008.

In the case of the Ulm Minster in Germany, the term was used for a particularly prosperous parish church boasting a large number of clergy.

In other places in Europe, “minster” has become simply a historical term for a particular church, e.g. the minsters of Strasbourg (France); Basel and Bern (Switzerland); Bonn Minster, Essen, Freiburg, Aachen, Hamelin, Doberan (all Germany).

See also

  • Munster (disambiguation) for many related place names. Munster is now a succsesful rugby union team (includes Minster, Münster).

Footnotes

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