Christianity[kris′c̸hē an′ə tē, -tē an′-]
- The definition of Christianity refers to the religion and followers that believe in the teachings of Jesus.
A religion of people who believe in Jesus, go to church and read the New Testament is an example of Christianity.
The cross is a symbol of Christianity.
- Christians collectively
- the Christian religion, based upon belief in Jesus as the Christ and upon his teachings
- a particular Christian religious system
- the state of being a Christian
Origin of ChristianityMiddle English cristianite ; from Old French crestiente ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin Christianitas ; from Christianus, Christian
- A religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus. Most forms of Christianity hold that Jesus is the son of God and is the second person of the Trinity, through whom humans may attain redemption from sin.
- Christians as a group; Christendom.
- The state or fact of being a Christian.
- pl. Chris·ti·an·i·ties A particular form or sect of the Christian religion: the Christianities of antiquity.
anathematism 1. Obsolete, the pronouncing of a curse or ban with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority; anathematization. 2. a curse or malediction. —anathema, n. anthology a collection of prayers used for solemn feasts in the Orthodox Eastern Church. See also books. antichristianism 1. a belief in, or adherence to the system of, the Antichrist. 2. the state of opposing Christianity in thought or action. Also antichristianity. apologetics the study of the methods and contents of defenses or proofs of Christianity. —apologetical, adj. apostolicism the condition of adhering to the evangelical doctrine of sanctification and to practicing such rites as healing and foot washing; following the teachings of the twelve apostles. —apostolic, n. —apostolical, adj. Azymite one of a sect of early Christians who used unleavened bread for the Eucharist. Byzantinism Eastern Orthodoxy. catechism 1. a manual of instruction in the principles of the Christian religion, usually in question and answer form. 2. catechetical instruction. —catechist, n. —catechetical, adj. Catholicism the doctrines, system, and practice of the Catholic Church, especially the Roman Catholic Church. —Catholic, n., adj. Christendom Christians collectively or the Christian world. Christianism the religious tenets held by all Christians. didachist 1. a writer of the anonymous 2nd-century Christian manual of morals and church practices called the Didache. 2. an expert on or student of the Didache. Eastern Orthodoxy the doctrines, systems, and practices of local and national independent churches (including the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches) in communion with the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople and adhering to the Nicene Creed and to a common rite celebrated in various languages. Also called Byzantinism. —Eastern Orthodox, n., adj. ecumenism a movement within Christianity toward the recovery of unity among all Christians. —Ecumenicist, n. election the theological doctrine of God’s predestination of individuals as objects of divine mercy and salvation. Encratism the practices of a 2nd-century sect that abstained from marriage, wine, and meat. —Encratite, n. ethnicism the state of not being a Christian. —ethnic, n. —ethnical, adj. evangelism, evangelicalism the missionary, reforming, or redeeming spirit evident throughout the history of Christianity in various guises or emphases. —evangelical, evangelistic, adj. flagellantism 1. the practice of ascetic individuals or groups who indulge in scourging for the sake of discipline or punishment. 2. (cap.) the practice of a 13th- and 14th-century fanatical European sect that indulged in scourging to avoid the punishment of God. —flagellant, n., adj. impenitence, impenitency lack of repentance or contrition for sins committed. —impenitent, n., adj. infralapsarianism the theological doctrine that man’s fall was foreseen and permitted by God, who then decreed election as a method for the salvation of some of mankind. Cf. supralapsarianism. —infralapsarian, n., adj. kerygma 1. the original, oral gospel preached by the apostles. 2. the preaching of the Christian gospel, especially the activity of the earliest Christian missionaries. —kerygmatic, adj. latria worship of the highest order that can be offered only to God. Marcionism the beliefs of an anti-Semitic Gnostic sect in the early Christian church. —Marcionite, n., adj. Monarchianism a 2nd- and 3rd-century Christian doctrine that maintained that God is a single person as well as a single being. —monarchian, adj. monasticism 1. the rule or system of life in a monastery. 2. the life or condition of a monk. —monastic, n., adj. —monastical, adj. oblation 1. a religious offering, either as charity or to God or a god. 2. the Eucharist, especially the offering of bread and wine to God. Oecumenism Ecumenism. paraclete the Holy Spirit, considered as comforter, intercessor, or advocate. Parousia the coming of Christ on Judgement Day. Also called Second Advent, Second Coming. Paulinism the teachings of the apostle Paul, who believed that people should be emancipated from Jewish law and allowed to follow the faith and spirit of Christ. —Paulist, n. —Paulinian, adj. penitence, penitency the state or condition of regretting sins or offenses and being willing to atone for them. —penitent, n., adj. pneuma the Holy Spirit in Christian theology. See also soul. pneumatology Theology. 1. the doctrines concerning the Holy Spirit. 2. the belief in spiritual beings, as angels, between men and God. —pneumatologist, n. —pneumatologic, pneumatological, adj. preterism the belief that the prophecies of the book of Revelation have already come to pass. —preterist, n., adj. Protestantism the doctrines and practices of those Western Christian churches not in communion with the Roman or Eastern churches. —Protestant, n., adj. psychopannychism Theology. the doctrine that death causes the soul to sleep until the day of resurrection. —psychopannychist, n. —psychopannychian, psychopannychistic, adj. Quadragesima 1. the first Sunday of Lent. Also called Quadragesima Sunday. 2. Obsolete, the forty days of Lent. —Quadragesimal, quadragesimal, adj. Quinquagesima the Sunday before Lent. Also called Quinquagesima Sunday. —Quinquagesimal, quinquegesimal, adj. sabbatarianism 1. the practice in Judaism and some Christian groups of keeping the seventh day holy. 2. the practice of keeping Sunday holy and free of work and pleasureful activity. —sabbatarian, n., adj. sacramentalism 1. the theological doctrines concerning the sacraments. 2. the doctrines asserting that the sacraments are necessary to salvation as a conveyor of grace to a human soul. —sacramentalist, n. subordinationism the theological tenet of progressively declining essence within the Trinity. —subordinationist, n. supralapsarianism the theological doctrine asserting that God’s plan for the salvation of man decreed election before the fall of man and permitted the fall as an instrumentality for fulfilling the divine purposes. Cf. infralapsarianism. —supralapsarian, n., adj. synusiast, synousiast Obsolete, one who believes that Christ was a mixture of divine and human substance. theopneusty the force or process of divine inspiration; the power by which the Holy Spirit reveals truth to men. —theopneustic, theopneusted, adj. tritheism 1. the heretical belief that the Trinity consists of three distinct gods. 2. any polytheistic religion having three gods. —tritheist, n. —tritheistic, tritheistical, adj. viaticum the Eucharist given to one about to die; last rites or extreme unction. —viatic, viatical, adj. Zwinglianism the doctrine that in the Lord’s supper there is an influence of Christ upon the soul but that the true body of Christ is present only through faith and not reality. —Zwinglianist, n. —Zwinglian, adj.