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Encyclopedia > Ecclesiology
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In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of doctrine pertaining to the Church itself as a community or organic entity and with the understanding of what the "church" is — ie., its role in salvation, its origin, its relationship to the historical Christ, its discipline, its destiny (see Eschatology) and its leadership. It is, therefore, the study of the Church as a thing in itself, and of the Church's self-understanding of its mission and role. Christian doctrine redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation). ... For the eschatological beliefs of various religions, see End Times. ...


In addition to describing a broad discipline of theology, ecclesiology may be used in the specific sense of a particular church or denomination’s character, self-described or otherwise. This is the sense of the word in such phrases as Roman Catholic ecclesiology, Lutheran ecclesiology, and ecumenical ecclesiology.

Contents

Etymology

Ecclesiology comes from the Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklesia), which entered Latin as ecclesia, and which originally simply meant a gathering or a meeting. It is a compound of the Greek preposition ἐκ (ek), which denotes origin and could be independently translated from, and καλῶ (kalo) - from uncontracted καλέω (kaleo) - meaning to call, so that the compound word means a calling out, and so "a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place" (Thayer's Greek Lexicon). While the term ecclesiology is today closely tied to the Christian Church, its roots are therefore broader. Ecclesia can refer to: Ecclesia (sociology of religion) Ecclesia (ancient Athens) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


The Septuagint used ἐκκλησία to translate into Greek the Hebrew word קהל (qâhâl), meaning a congregation, assembly, company or other organized body (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions). Most Christian theologians do not regard the uses in the Hebrew Scriptures of this word as referring to the Church specifically (in context, they refer to a specific gathering for a particular circumstance), though many of them consider the Jewish people (as "The People of God," a community that understood itself to be defined by a unique covenant with God) to be a foreshadowing, a prototype or a sort of living prophecy of what would one day be the Christian Church. The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brentons Greek edition and English translation. ...


The Greek word ἐκκλησία is used in its generic sense in Acts 19, once of a regular lawful assembly of the people (verse 39) and twice (verses 32 and 41) of a riotous coming together of the townsfolk.


Issues addressed by ecclesiology

Ecclesiology asks the questions:

  • Who is the Church? Is it a visible or earthly corporation -- a "church" in the sense of a specific denomination or institution, for instance? Or is it the body of all believing Christians regardless of their denominational differences and disunity? What is the relationship between living Christians and departed Christians (the "cloud of witnesses") -- do they (those on Earth and those in Heaven) constitute together the Church?
  • Must one join a church? That is, what is the role of corporate worship in the spiritual lives of believers? Is it in fact necessary? Can salvation be found outside of formal membership in a given faith community, and what constitutes "membership?" (Baptism? Formal acceptance of a creed? Regular participation?)
  • What is the authority of the Christian church? Who gets to interpret the doctrines of the Church? Is the organizational structure itself, either in a single corporate body, or generally within the range of formal church structures, an independent vehicle of revelation or of God's grace? Or is the Church's authority instead dependent on and derivative of a separate and prior divine revelation external to the organization, with individual institutions being "the Church" only to the extent that they teach this message? For example, is the Bible a written part of a wider revelation entrusted to the Church as faith community, and therefore to be interpreted within that context? Or is the Bible the revelation itself, and the Church is to be defined as a group of people who claim adherence to it?
  • What does the Church do? What are the sacraments, divine ordinances, and liturgies, in the context of the Church, and are they part of the Church's mission to preach the Gospel? What is the comparative emphasis and relationship between worship service, spiritual formation, and mission, and is the Church's role to create disciples of Christ or some other function? Is the Eucharist the defining element of the rest of the sacramental system and the Church itself, or is it secondary to the act of preaching? Is the Church to be understood as the vehicle for salvation, or the salvific presence in the world, or as a community of those already "saved?"
  • How should the Church be governed? What was the mission and authority of the Apostles, and is this handed down through the sacraments today? What are the proper methods of choosing clergy such as bishops and priests, and what is their role within the context of the Church? Is an ordained clergy necessary? * Who are the leaders of a church? Must there be a policy-making board of "leaders" within a church and what are the qualifications for this position, and by what process do these members become official, ordained "leaders"? Must leaders and clergy be "ordained," and is this possible only by those who have been ordained by others?

For other uses, see Corporation (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For other senses of this word, see denomination. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are usually depicted as having halos. ... Taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony on the eve of Diwali. ... This article is about the Christian religious act of Baptism. ... For other uses, see Creed (disambiguation). ... This article is about authority as a concept. ... Revelation of the Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, which could not be known apart from the unveiling (Goswiller 1987 p. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      In Christianity... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... In Christian belief and practice, a sacrament is a rite that mediates divine grace, constituting a sacred mystery. ... A liturgy is the customary public worship of a religious group, according to their particular traditions. ... Gospel, from the Old English good tidings is a calque of Greek () used in the New Testament (see Etymology below). ... Taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony on the eve of Diwali. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      A Christian... In Christianity, the disciples were the students of Jesus during his ministry. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      This article... This article is about religious workers. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Catholic deacon... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Catholic deacon... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor to the original body of believers in Christ, composed of the Apostles. ... “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” redirects here. ... Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ... A covenant, in its most general sense, is a solemn promise to do or not do something specified. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... Various groups have considered themselves chosen by God for some purpose such as to act as Gods agent on earth. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      In Christian theology, Christian eschatology is the...

See also

Beliefs that define the Church

The Body of Christ is a term used by Christians to describe believers in Christ. ... A biblical canon is a list of Biblical books which establishes the set of books which are considered to be authoritative as scripture by a particular Jewish or Christian community. ... For other uses, see Creed (disambiguation). ... “Orthodox” redirects here. ... Spiritual house (is a conception which) describes the Christian Church ontologically. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Pneumatology is the study of spiritual beings and phenomena, especially the interactions between humans and God. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      In mainstream Christianity, the... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Christology is a field of study... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... In Judaism, the Messiah (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian ; Aramaic: , ; Arabic: , ; the Anointed One) at first meant any person who was anointed with oil on rising to a certain position among the ancient Israelites, at first that of High priest, later that of King and also that of a prophet. ... Soteriology is the study of salvation. ... Saved is an album by Bob Dylan. ...

Rituals that define the Church

A liturgy is the customary public worship of a religious group, according to their particular traditions. ... In general, the term, Ritualism can be used to describe an outlook which places a great (or even exaggerated) emphasis on ritual. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      A sermon is an oration by... In Christian belief and practice, a sacrament is a rite that mediates divine grace, constituting a sacred mystery. ... For other uses, see Eucharist (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Christian religious act of Baptism. ... Infant baptism (also called paedobaptism and pedobaptism), the baptism of the infant children of believers, is an ancient custom of much of Christianity, including the Roman Catholic church, the Orthodox churches, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Methodists, to name a few. ... Believers baptism (also called credobaptism) is the Christian ritual of baptism as given only to adults and children who have made a declaration of faith in Jesus as their personal savior, because he died for their sins, and was resurrected by the power of God the Father. ... See Reform Judaism article about its Confirmation ceremony. ... Chrismation is the name given in Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern_rite Catholic churches to the sacrament known as confirmation in the Latin Rite Catholic churches. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Catholic deacon...

Topics in church government

In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor to the original body of believers in Christ, composed of the Apostles. ... In hierarchical Christian churches, especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Canon law is the term used for... In Christian theology, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is a phrase describing the nature of the Christian community and/or Christian Church, in the various meanings it has. ... Constantines Conversion, depicting the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... Thomas Erastus Thomas Erastus (September 7, 1524 – December 31, 1583) was a Swiss theologian best known for a posthumously published work in which he argued that the sins of Christians should be punished by the state, and not by the church withholding the sacraments. ... In English history, the Established Church is the Church of England, the church which is established by the Government, supported by it, and of which the monarch is the titular head; until 1920 it also held the same position in Wales. ... A free church is a Christian church or denomination that is intrinsically separated from any government (as opposed to a theocracy or the state church). ... Full communion is completeness of that relationship between Christian individuals and groups which is known as communion. ... In religious organizations, the laity comprises all lay persons collectively. ... This article may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer. ... This article is about religious groups. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original meaning. ... Ecclesiastical polity is the operational and governance structure of a church or Christian denomination. ... Connectionalism is the theological understanding and foundation of Methodist polity. ... Congregationalist polity, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local congregation is independent. ... It has been suggested that episcopal be merged into this article or section. ... Presbyterian governance of a church is typified by the rule of assemblies of presbyters, or elders. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Pope. ... For other senses, see Patriarch (disambiguation). ... In hierarchical Christian churches, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop (then more precisely called Metropolitan archbishop) of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of an old Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital. ... In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated bishop. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      This article... A religious elder (in Greek, πρεσβυτερος [presbyteros]) is valued for his or her wisdom, in part for their age, on the grounds that the older one is then the more one is likely to know. ... This article is about religious workers. ... Deacon is a role in the Christian Church which is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      A pastor is an... The priesthood of all believers is a Christian doctrine based on several passages of the New Testament. ...

External links

  • A Study in Church HistoryA look at ecclesiology from an Evangelical perspective with audio and video resources.
  • Centre for the Study of Contemporary Ecclesiology at Liverpool Hope University

  Results from FactBites:
 
Ecclesiology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (730 words)
Ecclesiology is a branch of Christian theology that deals with the doctrines pertaining to the Church itself as a community or organic entity, and with the understanding of what the "church" is: its role in salvation, its origin, its relationship to the historical Christ, its discipline, its destiny (see Eschatology) and its leadership.
In addition to describing a broad discipline of theology, ecclesiology may be used in the specific sense of a particular church or denomination’s character, self-described or otherwise.
Ecclesiology comes from the Greek ekklesia (ἐκκλησία), which comes into Latin as ecclesia, and which simply means a gathering or a meeting.
Ecclesiology - The Christian Arsenal (279 words)
Ecclesiology - Beliefs about the Church - A good church will be correct in its ecclesiology; that is, in what it believes and teaches about the church itself.
Ecclesiology - Doctrine of the Church - 1 Timothy 3:15...that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Ecclesiology and Ethics in 1 Corinthians - Journal of the North Park Symposium on the Theological interpretation of Scripture.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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