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Christendom
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(File:Christianity percent population in each nation World Map Christian data by Pew Research.svg|thumb|330px|Christianity - Percentage of population by country (2014 data)){{Christianity}}{{Christian culture}}ChristendomBOOK, Marty, Martin, The Christian World: A Global History,weblink 2008, Random House Publishing Group, 978-1-58836-684-9, {{Page needed|date=January 2018}} has several meanings. In one contemporary sense, as used in a secular or Protestant context, it may refer to the "Christian world": Christian-majority countries and the countries in which Christianity dominates or prevails,See Merriam-Webster.com : dictionary, "Christendom" or, in the historic, Catholic sense of the word, the nations in which Catholic Christianity is the established religion, having a Catholic Christian polity.WEB,weblink CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Christendom, Since the spread of Christianity from the Levant to Europe and North Africa during the early Roman Empire, Christendom has been divided in the pre-existing Greek East and Latin West. Consequently, different versions of the Christian religion arose with their own beliefs and practices, centred around the cities of Rome (Western Christianity, whose community was called Western or Latin ChristendomBOOK, Chazan, Robert, 2006, The Jews of Medieval Western Christendom: 1000-1500,weblink Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, xi, 9780521616645, 26 January 2018, ) and Constantinople (Eastern Christianity, whose community was called Eastern ChristendomEncarta-encyclopedie Winkler Prins (1993–2002) s.v. "christendom. §1.3 Scheidingen". Microsoft Corporation/Het Spectrum.). From the 11th to 13th centuries, Latin Christendom rose to the central role of the Western world.Chazan, p. 5.In its historical sense, the term usually refers to the Middle Ages and to the Early Modern period during which the Christian world represented a geopolitical power that was juxtaposed with both the pagan and especially the Muslim world. In the traditional Roman Catholic sense of the word, it refers to the sum total of nations in which the Catholic Church is the established religion of the state or to those with ecclesiastical concordats with the Holy See.

Terminology

Etymology

{{refimprove section|date=February 2013}}The Anglo-Saxon term cristendom appears to have been invented in the 9th century by a scribe somewhere in southern England, possibly at the court of king Alfred the Great of Wessex. The scribe was translating Paulus Orosius' book History Against the Pagans (c. 416) and in need for a term to express the concept of the universal culture focused on Jesus Christ.BOOK, MacCulloch, Diarmaid, 2010, A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years,weblink London, Penguin Publishing Group, 572, 9781101189993, 26 January 2018, It had the sense now taken by Christianity (as is still the case with the cognate Dutch christendomweblink where it denotes mostly the religion itself, just like the German Christentumweblink current sense of the word of "lands where Christianity is the dominant religion"BOOK, Hall, Douglas John, Douglas John Hall, 2002, The End of Christendom and the Future of Christianity,weblink Eugene, Oregon, Wipf and Stock Publishers, ix, "Christendom" [...] means literally the dominion or sovereignty of the Christian religion., 9781579109844, 28 January 2018, emerged in Late Middle English (by c. 1400)weblink semantic development happened independently in the languages of late medieval Europe, which leads to the confusing semantics of English Christendom equalling German Christenheit, Dutch christenheid, French chrétienté vs. English Christianity equalling German Christentum, Dutch christendom, French christianisme.{{Citation needed|date=January 2018}} The reason is the increasing fragmentation of Western Christianity at that time both theologically and politically."Christendom" as a geopolitical term is thus meaningful in the context of the Middle Ages, and arguably during the European wars of religion and the Ottoman wars in Europe.{{Citation needed|date=January 2018}}

Definitions

Canadian theology professor Douglas John Hall stated (1997) that "Christendom" [...] means literally the dominion or sovereignty of the Christian religion." Thomas John Curry, Roman Catholic auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, defined (2001) Christendom as "the system dating from the fourth century by which governments upheld and promoted Christianity."BOOK, Curry, Thomas John, Thomas John Curry, 2001, Farewell to Christendom: The Future of Church and State in America,weblink Oxford, Oxford University Press, 12, 9780190287061, 28 January 2018, Curry states that the end of Christendom came about because modern governments refused to "uphold the teachings, customs, ethos, and practice of Christianity." British church historian Diarmaid MacCulloch described (2010) Christendom as "the union between Christianity and secular power."

Related terms

{{refimprove section|date=January 2018}}{{further|Ecumene|Church militant and church triumphant}}The Christian world is also collectively known as the Corpus Christianum, translated as the Christian body, meaning the community of all Christians.{{Citation needed|date=January 2018}} The Christian polity, embodying a less secular meaning, can be compatible with the idea of both a religious and a temporal body: Corpus Christianum. The Corpus Christianum can be seen as a Christian equivalent of the Muslim Ummah.{{Citation needed|date=January 2018}}The word "Christendom" is also used with its other meaning to frame-true Christianity.{{clarify|date=February 2013}} A more secular meaning can denote the fact that the term Christendom refers to Christians as a group, the "political Christian world", as an informal{{clarify|date=February 2013}} cultural hegemony that Christianity has traditionally enjoyed in the West.{{Citation needed|date=January 2018}}In its most broad term, it refers to the world's Christian-majority countries,{{Citation needed|date=January 2018}} which, share little in common aside from the predominance of the faith. Unlike the Muslim world, which has a geo-political and cultural definition that provides a primary identifier for a large swath of the world, Christendom is more complex.{{dubious|date=February 2013}}There is a common and nonliteral sense of the word that is much like the terms Western world, known world or Free World. When Thomas F. Connolly said, "There isn't enough power in all Christendom to make that airplane what we want!", he was simply using a figure of speech, although it is true that during the Cold War, just as the totalitarianism of the Communist Bloc presented a contrast to the liberty of the Free World, the state atheism of the Communist Bloc contrasted with the religious freedom and the powerful religious institutions in North America and Western Europe. The notion of "Europe" and the "Western World" has been intimately connected with the concept of "Christianity and Christendom"; many even attribute Christianity for being the link that created a unified European identity.BOOK, Dawson, Christopher, Crisis in Western Education, 1961, 9780813216836, reprint, Glenn Olsen, 108,

History

{{See also|History of Christianity|History of Western civilization}}

Rise of Christendom

{{See also|Early Christianity|Hellenistic Judaism}}File:T and O map Guntherus Ziner 1472.jpg|thumb|This T-and-O map, which abstracts the then known world to a cross inscribed within an orb, remakes geography in the service of Christian iconography. More detailed versions place Jerusalem at the center of the world.]]In the beginning of Christendom,{{Citation needed|date=January 2018|reason=Did Christendom start with Christianity?}} early Christianity was a religion spread in the Greek/Roman world and beyond as a 1st-century Jewish sect,{{bibleref|Acts|3:1}}; {{bibleref|Acts|5:27–42}}; {{bibleref|Acts|21:18–26}}; {{bibleref|Acts|24:5}}; {{bibleref|Acts|24:14}}; {{bibleref|Acts|28:22}}; {{bibleref|Romans|1:16}}; Tacitus, Annales xv 44; Josephus Antiquities xviii 3; Mortimer Chambers, The Western Experience Volume II chapter 5; The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion page 158{{failed verification|date=January 2018}}. which historians refer to as Jewish Christianity. It may be divided into two distinct phases: the apostolic period, when the first apostles were alive and organizing the Church, and the post-apostolic period, when an early episcopal structure developed, whereby bishoprics were governed by bishops (overseers).The post-apostolic period concerns the time roughly after the death of the apostles when bishops emerged as overseers of urban Christian populations. The earliest recorded use of the terms Christianity (Greek ) and catholic (Greek ), dates to this period, the 2nd century, attributed to Ignatius of Antioch c. 107.Walter Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon; Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Magnesians 10, Letter to the Romans (Roberts-Donaldson tr., Lightfoot tr., Greek text). However, an edition presented on some websites, one that otherwise corresponds exactly with the Roberts-Donaldson translation, renders this passage to the interpolated inauthentic longer recension of Ignatius's letters, which does not contain the word "Christianity." Early Christendom would close at the end of imperial persecution of Christians after the ascension of Constantine the Great and the Edict of Milan in AD 313 and the First Council of Nicaea in 325.{{Citation needed|date=January 2018|reason=Did Christendom exist before Milan and Nicaea?}}According to Malcolm Muggeridge (1980), Christ founded Christianity, but Constantine founded Christendom.NEWS,weblink Impish defense of Christianity; The End of Christendom, by Malcolm Muggeridge, Robert Peel, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 February 1981, 28 January 2018, Canadian theology professor Douglas John Hall dates the 'inauguration of Christendom' to the 4th century, with Constantine playing the primary role (so much so that he equates Christendom with "Constantinianism") and Theodosius I (Edict of Thessalonica, 380) and Justinian I{{efn|In 529, Justinian closed the Neoplatonic Academy of Athens, a last bulwark of pagan philosophy, made rigorous efforts to exterminate Arianism and Montanism, personally campaigned against Monophysitism, and made Chalcedonian Christianity the Byzantine state religion.Encarta-encyclopedie Winkler Prins (1993–2002) s.v. "Justinianus I". Microsoft Corporation/Het Spectrum.}} secondary roles.Hall (2002), p. 1–9.{{See also|State church of the Roman Empire}}

Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages

{{further|First seven Ecumenical Councils}}{{further|Germanic Christianity}}File:Nicaea icon.jpg|thumb|upright|Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine and the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (AD 325) holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.]]File:Spread of Christianity to AD 600 (1).png|thumb|Spread of Christianity by AD 600 (shown in dark blue is the spread of Early ChristianityEarly Christianity"Christendom" has referred to the medieval and renaissance notion of the Christian world as a sociopolitical polity. In essence, the earliest vision of Christendom was a vision of a Christian theocracy, a government founded upon and upholding Christian values, whose institutions are spread through and over with Christian doctrine. In this period, members of the Christian clergy wield political authority. The specific relationship between the political leaders and the clergy varied but, in theory, the national and political divisions were at times subsumed under the leadership of the church as an institution. This model of church-state relations was accepted by various Church leaders and political leaders in European history.BOOK, Chisholm, Hugh, The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information,weblink 1911, Encyclopædia Britannica Company, 700, {{Full citation needed|date=November 2012}}The Church gradually became a defining institution of the Empire.The church in the Roman empire before A.D. 170, Part 170 By Sir William Mitchell Ramsay Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 proclaiming toleration for the Christian religion, and convoked the First Council of Nicaea in 325 whose Nicene Creed included belief in "one holy catholic and apostolic Church". Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica of 380.Boyd, William Kenneth (1905). The ecclesiastical edicts of the Theodosian code, Columbia University Press.As the Western Roman Empire disintegrated into feudal kingdoms and principalities, the concept of Christendom changed as the western church became one of five patriarchates of the Pentarchy and the Christians of the Eastern Roman Empire developed.{{Clarify|date=June 2018}} The Byzantine Empire was the last bastion of Christendom.BOOK, Challand, Gérard, The Art of War in World History: From Antiquity to the Nuclear Age,weblink 1994, University of California Press, 978-0-520-07964-9, 25, Christendom would take a turn with the rise of the Franks, a Germanic tribe who converted to the Christian faith and entered into communion with Rome.On Christmas Day 800 AD, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne resulting in the creation of another Christian king beside the Christian emperor in the Byzantine state.BOOK, Willis Mason West, The ancient world from the earliest times to 800 A.D. ...,weblink 1904, Allyn and Bacon, 551, {{Unreliable source?|date=June 2011}} The Carolingian Empire created a definition of Christendom in juxtaposition with the Byzantine Empire, that of a distributed versus centralized culture respectively.BOOK, Peter Brown, Peter Robert Lamont Brown, The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity 200-1000 AD,weblink 2003, Wiley, 978-0-631-22138-8, 443, The classical heritage flourished throughout the Middle Ages in both the Byzantine Greek East and the Latin West. In the Greek philosopher Plato's ideal state there are three major classes, which was representative of the idea of the “tripartite soul”, which is expressive of three functions or capacities of the human soul: “reason”, “the spirited element”, and “appetites” (or “passions”). Will Durant made a convincing case that certain prominent features of Plato's ideal community where discernible in the organization, dogma and effectiveness of "the" Medieval Church in Europe:BOOK, Will, Durant, 2005, Story of Philosophy,weblink Simon & Schuster, 978-0-671-69500-2, 10 December 2013, ... For a thousand years Europe was ruled by an order of guardians considerably like that which was visioned by our philosopher. During the Middle Ages it was customary to classify the population of Christendom into laboratores (workers), bellatores (soldiers), and oratores (clergy). The last group, though small in number, monopolized the instruments and opportunities of culture, and ruled with almost unlimited sway half of the most powerful continent on the globe. The clergy, like Plato's guardians, were placed in authority... by their talent as shown in ecclesiastical studies and administration, by their disposition to a life of meditation and simplicity, and ... by the influence of their relatives with the powers of state and church. In the latter half of the period in which they ruled [800 AD onwards], the clergy were as free from family cares as even Plato could desire [for such guardians]... [Clerical] Celibacy was part of the psychological structure of the power of the clergy; for on the one hand they were unimpeded by the narrowing egoism of the family, and on the other their apparent superiority to the call of the flesh added to the awe in which lay sinners held them.... In the latter half of the period in which they ruled, the clergy were as free from family cares as even Plato could desire.

Later Middle Ages and Renaissance

{{further|East–West Schism|Western Schism|Crusades|Reconquista}}{{further|Latin Empire|Frankokratia|Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty|Byzantine–Ottoman Wars|Fall of Constantinople}}After the collapse of Charlemagne's empire, the southern remnants of the Holy Roman Empire became a collection of states loosely connected to the Holy See of Rome. Tensions between Pope Innocent III and secular rulers ran high, as the pontiff exerted control over their temporal counterparts in the west and vice versa. The pontificate of Innocent III is considered the height of temporal power of the papacy. The Corpus Christianum described the then-current notion of the community of all Christians united under the Roman Catholic Church. The community was to be guided by Christian values in its politics, economics and social life.Shaping a global theological mind By Darren C. Marks. Page 45 Its legal basis was the corpus iuris canonica (body of canon law).Somerville, R. (1998). Prefaces to Canon Law books in Latin Christianity: Selected translations, 500-1245; commentary and translations. New Haven [u.a.: Yale Univ. PressVanDeWiel, C. (1991). History of canon law. Leuven: Peeters Press.Canon law and the Christian community By Clarence Gallagher. Gregorian & Biblical BookShop, 1978.Catholic Church., Canon Law Society of America., Catholic Church., & Libreria editrice vaticana. (1998). Code of canon law, Latin-English edition: New English translation. Washington, DC: Canon Law Society of America.In the East, Christendom became more defined as the Byzantine Empire's gradual loss of territory to an expanding Islam and the muslim conquest of Persia. This caused Christianity to become important to the Byzantine identity. Before the East–West Schism which divided the Church religiously, there had been the notion of a universal Christendom that included the East and the West. After the East–West Schism, hopes of regaining religious unity with the West were ended by the Fourth Crusade, when Crusaders conquered the Byzantine capital of Constantinople and hastened the decline of the Byzantine Empire on the path to its destruction.Mango, C. (2002). The Oxford history of Byzantium. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Angold, M. (1997). The Byzantine Empire, 1025-1204: A political history. New York: Longman.BOOK, Schevill, Ferdinand, The History of the Balkan Peninsula: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day,weblink 1922, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 124, With the breakup of the Byzantine Empire into individual nations with nationalist Orthodox Churches, the term Christendom described Western Europe, Catholicism, Orthodox Byzantines, and other Eastern rites of the Church.BOOK, Schaff, Philip, The history of creeds,weblink 1878, Harper, {{CathEncy|wstitle=Christendom}}The Catholic Church's peak of authority over all European Christians and their common endeavours of the Christian community — for example, the Crusades, the fight against the Moors in the Iberian Peninsula and against the Ottomans in the Balkans — helped to develop a sense of communal identity against the obstacle of Europe's deep political divisions. The popes, formally just the bishops of Rome, claimed to be the focus of all Christendom, which was largely recognised in Western Christendom from the 11th century until the Reformation, but not in Eastern Christendom.MacCulloch (2010), p. 625. Moreover, this authority was also sometimes abused, and fostered the Inquisition and anti-Jewish pogroms, to root out divergent elements and create a religiously uniform community.{{Citation needed|date=January 2011}} Ultimately, the Inquisition was done away with by order of Pope Innocent III.{{CathEncy|wstitle=Inquisition}}Christendom ultimately was led into specific crisis in the late Middle Ages, when the kings of France managed to establish a French national church during the 14th century and the papacy became ever more aligned with the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Known as the Western Schism, western Christendom was a split between three men, who were driven by politics rather than any real theological disagreement for simultaneously claiming to be the true pope. The Avignon Papacy developed a reputation for corruption that estranged major parts of Western Christendom. The Avignon schism was ended by the Council of Constance.Stump, P. H. (1994). The reforms of the Council of Constance, 1414-1418. Leiden: E.J. BrillBefore the modern period, Christendom was in a general crisis at the time of the Renaissance Popes because of the moral laxity of these pontiffs and their willingness to seek and rely on temporal power as secular rulers did.{{Citation needed|date=April 2014}} Many in the Catholic Church's hierarchy in the Renaissance became increasingly entangled with insatiable greed for material wealth and temporal power, which led to many reform movements, some merely wanting a moral reformation of the Church's clergy, while others repudiated the Church and separated from it in order to form new sects.{{Citation needed|date=April 2014}} The Italian Renaissance produced ideas or institutions by which men living in society could be held together in harmony. In the early 16th century, Baldassare Castiglione (The Book of the Courtier) laid out his vision of the ideal gentleman and lady, while Machiavelli cast a jaundiced eye on "la verità effetuale delle cose" — the actual truth of things — in The Prince, composed, humanist style, chiefly of parallel ancient and modern examples of Virtù. Some Protestant movements grew up along lines of mysticism or renaissance humanism (cf. Erasmus). The Catholic Church fell partly into general neglect under the Renaissance Popes, whose inability to govern the Church by showing personal example of high moral standards set the climate for what would ultimately become the Protestant Reformation.The Cambridge Modern History. Vol 2: The Reformation (1903). During the Renaissance, the papacy was mainly run by the wealthy families and also had strong secular interests. To safeguard Rome and the connected Papal States the popes became necessarily involved in temporal matters, even leading armies, as the great patron of arts Pope Julius II did. It during these intermediate times popes strove to make Rome the capital of Christendom while projecting it, through art, architecture, and literature, as the center of a Golden Age of unity, order, and peace.WEB,weblink The Papacy during the Renaissance, Norris, Michael, August 2007, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 11 December 2013, Professor Frederick J. McGinness described Rome as essential in understanding the legacy the Church and its representatives encapsulated best by The Eternal City: No other city in Europe matches Rome in its traditions, history, legacies, and influence in the Western world. Rome in the Renaissance under the papacy not only acted as guardian and transmitter of these elements stemming from the Roman Empire but also assumed the role as artificer and interpreter of its myths and meanings for the peoples of Europe from the Middle Ages to modern times... Under the patronage of the popes, whose wealth and income were exceeded only by their ambitions, the city became a cultural center for master architects, sculptors, musicians, painters, and artisans of every kind...In its myth and message, Rome had become the sacred city of the popes, the prime symbol of a triumphant Catholicism, the center of orthodox Christianity, a new Jerusalem.WEB,weblink Papal Rome, McGinness, Frederick, 26 August 2011, Oxford Bibliographies, 11 December 2013, It is clearly noticeable that the popes of the Italian Renaissance have been subjected by many writers with an overly harsh tone. Pope Julius II, for example, was not only an effective secular leader in military affairs, a deviously effective politician but foremost one of the greatest patron of the Renaissance period and person who also encouraged open criticism from noted humanists.WEB,weblink Background for Italian Renaissance, Cheney, Liana, 26 August 2011, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 11 December 2013,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140116035753weblink">weblink 16 January 2014, yes, The blossoming of renaissance humanism was made very much possible due to the universality of the institutions of Catholic Church and represented by personalities such as Pope Pius II, Nicolaus Copernicus, Leon Battista Alberti, Desiderius Erasmus, sir Thomas More, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Leonardo da Vinci and Teresa of Ávila. George Santayana in his work The Life of Reason postulated the tenets of the all encompassing order the Church had brought and as the repository of the legacy of classical antiquity:BOOK, Santayana, George, 1982, The Life of Reason,weblink New York, Dover Publications, 10 December 2013, The enterprise of individuals or of small aristocratic bodies has meantime sown the world which we call civilised with some seeds and nuclei of order. There are scattered about a variety of churches, industries, academies, and governments. But the universal order once dreamt of and nominally almost established, the empire of universal peace, all-permeating rational art, and philosophical worship, is mentioned no more. An unformulated conception, the prerational ethics of private privilege and national unity, fills the background of men's minds. It represents feudal traditions rather than the tendency really involved in contemporary industry, science, or philanthropy. Those dark ages, from which our political practice is derived, had a political theory which we should do well to study; for their theory about a universal empire and a Catholic church was in turn the echo of a former age of reason, when a few men conscious of ruling the world had for a moment sought to survey it as a whole and to rule it justly.

Reformation and Early Modern era

{{refimprove section|date=January 2018}}{{further|Reformation|Counter-Reformation|History of Protestantism|European wars of religion}}{{further|Ottoman wars in Europe|History of the Russo-Turkish wars|History of the Serbian–Turkish wars}}{{further|Jesuit China missions|Spanish missions in the Americas}}Developments in western philosophy and European events brought change to the notion of the Corpus Christianum. The Hundred Years' War accelerated the process of transforming France from a feudal monarchy to a centralized state. The rise of strong, centralized monarchiesThis was presaging the modern nation-state denoted the European transition from feudalism to capitalism. By the end of the Hundred Years' War, both France and England were able to raise enough money through taxation to create independent standing armies. In the Wars of the Roses, Henry Tudor took the crown of England. His heir, the absolute king Henry VIII establishing the English church.The Anglican Domain: Church HistoryIn modern history, the Reformation and rise of modernity in the early 16th century entailed a change in the Corpus Christianum. In the Holy Roman Empire, the Peace of Augsburg of 1555 officially ended the idea among secular leaders that all Christians must be united under one church. The principle of cuius regio, eius religio ("whose the region is, his religion") established the religious, political and geographic divisions of Christianity, and this was established with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, which legally ended the concept of a single Christian hegemony in the territories of the Holy Roman Empire, despite the Catholic Church's doctrine that it alone is the one true Church founded by Christ.Subsequently, each government determined the religion of their own state. Christians living in states where their denomination was not the established one were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.{{citation needed|date=January 2018}} At times there were mass expulsions of dissenting faiths as happened with the Salzburg Protestants. Some people passed as adhering to the official church, but instead lived as Nicodemites or crypto-protestants.The European wars of religion are usually taken to have ended with the Treaty of Westphalia (1648),{{aut|Uwe Becker}}, Europese democratieën: vrijheid, gelijkheid, solidariteit en soevereiniteit in praktijk or arguably, including the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession in this period, with the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713.{{citation needed|date=January 2018}} In the 18th century, the focus shifts away from religious conflicts, either between Christian factions or against the external threat of Islamic factions.{{citation needed|date=January 2018}}

End of Christendom

The European Miracle, the Age of Enlightenment and the formation of the great colonial empires together with the beginning decline of the Ottoman Empire mark the end of the geopolitical "history of Christendom".{{citation needed|date=January 2018}} Instead, the focus of Western history shifts to the development of the nation-state, accompanied by increasing atheism and secularism, culminating with the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars at the turn of the 19th century.{{citation needed|date=January 2018}}Writing in 1997, Canadian theology professor Douglas John Hall argued that Christendom had either fallen already or was in its death throes; although its end was gradual and not as clear to pin down as its 4th-century establishment, the "transition to the post-Constantinian, or post-Christendom, situation (...) has already been in process for a century or two," beginning with the 18th-century rationalist Enlightenment and the French Revolution (the first attempt to topple the Christian establishment). American Catholic bishop Thomas John Curry stated (2001) that the end of Christendom came about because modern governments refused to "uphold the teachings, customs, ethos, and practice of Christianity." He argued the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (1791) and the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom (1965) are two of the most important documents setting the stage for its end. According to British historian Diarmaid MacCulloch (2010), Christendom was 'killed' by the First World War (1914–18), which led to the fall of the three main Christian empires (Russian, German and Austrian) of Europe, as well as the Ottoman Empire, rupturing the Eastern Christian communities that had existed on its territory. The Christian empires were replaced by secular, even anti-clerical republics seeking to definitively keep the churches out of politics. The only surviving monarchy with an established church, Britain, was severely damaged by the war, lost most of Ireland due to Catholic–Protestant infighting, and was starting to lose grip on its colonies.MacCulloch (2010), p. 1024–1030.

Classical culture

{{Further|Middle Ages|Renaissance|Theological aesthetics|Role of the Catholic Church in Western civilization|Christian culture}}File:Wien - Stephansdom (1).JPG|thumb|St. Stephen's Cathedral, ViennaSt. Stephen's Cathedral, ViennaWestern culture, throughout most of its history, has been nearly equivalent to Christian culture, and many of the population of the Western hemisphere could broadly be described as cultural Christians. The notion of "Europe" and the "Western World" has been intimately connected with the concept of "Christianity and Christendom"; many even attribute Christianity for being the link that created a unified European identity. Historian Paul Legutko of Stanford University said the Catholic Church is "at the center of the development of the values, ideas, science, laws, and institutions which constitute what we call Western civilization."WEB, Review of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas Woods, Jr.,weblink National Review Book Service, 16 September 2006,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060822150152weblink">weblink 22 August 2006, yes, Though Western culture contained several polytheistic religions during its early years under the Greek and Roman Empires, as the centralized Roman power waned, the dominance of the Catholic Church was the only consistent force in Western Europe.BOOK, Koch, Carl, The Catholic Church: Journey, Wisdom, and Mission, 1994, St. Mary's Press, Early Middle Ages, 978-0-88489-298-4, Until the Age of Enlightenment,BOOK, Koch, Carl, The Catholic Church: Journey, Wisdom, and Mission, 1994, St. Mary's Press, The Age of Enlightenment, 978-0-88489-298-4, Christian culture guided the course of philosophy, literature, art, music and science.BOOK, Dawson, Christopher, Crisis in Western Education, 1961, 978-0-8132-1683-6, reprint, Glenn, Olsen, Christian disciplines of the respective arts have subsequently developed into Christian philosophy, Christian art, Christian music, Christian literature etc. Art and literature, law, education, and politics were preserved in the teachings of the Church, in an environment that, otherwise, would have probably seen their loss. The Church founded many cathedrals, universities, monasteries and seminaries, some of which continue to exist today. Medieval Christianity created the first modern universities.Rüegg, Walter: "Foreword. The University as a European Institution", in: A History of the University in Europe. Vol. 1: Universities in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 1992, {{ISBN|0-521-36105-2}}, pp. xix–xx{{harnvb|Verger|1999}} The Catholic Church established a hospital system in Medieval Europe that vastly improved upon the Roman valetudinaria.WEB,weblink Valetudinaria, broughttolife.sciencemuseum.org.uk, en, 2018-02-22, These hospitals were established to cater to "particular social groups marginalized by poverty, sickness, and age," according to historian of hospitals, Guenter Risse.BOOK, Mending Bodies, Saving Souls: A History of Hospitals, Risse, Guenter B, April 1999, Oxford University Press, 59, 978-0-19-505523-8, Christianity also had a strong impact on all other aspects of life: marriage and family, education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy, and the arts.Karl Heussi, Kompendium der Kirchengeschichte, 11. Auflage (1956), Tübingen (Germany), pp. 317–319, 325–326Christianity had a significant impact on education and science and medicine as the church created the bases of the Western system of education,Encyclopædia Britannica Forms of Christian education and was the sponsor of founding universities in the Western world as the university is generally regarded as an institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting.Rüegg, Walter: "Foreword. The University as a European Institution", in: A History of the University in Europe. Vol. 1: Universities in the Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 1992, {{ISBN|0-521-36105-2}}, pp. XIX–XXBOOK, Verger, Jacques, 1999, :fr:Jacques Verger, Culture, enseignement et société en Occident aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles, 1st, French, Presses universitaires de Rennes in Rennes, 978-2868473448,weblink 17 June 2014, harv, Many clerics throughout history have made significant contributions to science and Jesuits in particular have made numerous significant contributions to the development of science.Susan Elizabeth Hough, Richter's Scale: Measure of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man, Princeton University Press, 2007, {{ISBN|0691128073}}, p. 68.{{Sfn|Woods|2005|p=109}}Encyclopædia Britannica Jesuit The cultural influence of Christianity includes social welfare,Encyclopædia Britannica Church and social welfare founding hospitals,Encyclopædia Britannica Care for the sick economics (as the Protestant work ethic),Encyclopædia Britannica Property, poverty, and the poor,BOOK, Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 1905, natural law (which would later influence the creation of international law),Cf. Jeremy Waldron (2002), God, Locke, and Equality: Christian Foundations in Locke's Political Thought, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (UK), {{ISBN|978-0-521-89057-1}}, pp. 189, 208 politics,Encyclopædia Britannica Church and state architecture,Sir Banister Fletcher, History of Architecture on the Comparative Method. literature,Buringh, Eltjo; van Zanden, Jan Luiten: "Charting the 'Rise of the West': Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries", The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 69, No. 2 (2009), pp. 409–445 (416, table 1) personal hygiene,BOOK, Eveleigh, Bogs, Baths and Basins: The Story of Domestic Sanitation, Stroud, England: Sutton, 2002, Christianity in Action: The History of the International Salvation Army p.16 and family life.Encyclopædia Britannica The tendency to spiritualize and individualize marriage Christianity played a role in ending practices common among pagan societies, such as human sacrifice, slavery,Chadwick, Owen p. 242. infanticide and polygamy.Hastings, p. 309.

Art and literature

{{refimprove section|date=June 2018}}

Writings and poetry

Christian literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing. Christian poetry is any poetry that contains Christian teachings, themes, or references. The influence of Christianity on poetry has been great in any area that Christianity has taken hold. Christian poems often directly reference the Bible, while others provide allegory.

Supplemental arts

Christian art is art produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity. Virtually all Christian groupings use or have used art to some extent. The prominence of art and the media, style, and representations change; however, the unifying theme is ultimately the representation of the life and times of Jesus and in some cases the Old Testament. Depictions of saints are also common, especially in Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Illumination

File:Codex Bruchsal 1 01v cropped.jpg|thumb|Picture of Christ in MajestyChrist in MajestyAn illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration. The earliest surviving substantive illuminated manuscripts are from the period AD 400 to 600, primarily produced in Ireland, Constantinople and Italy. The majority of surviving manuscripts are from the Middle Ages, although many illuminated manuscripts survive from the 15th century Renaissance, along with a very limited number from Late Antiquity.Most illuminated manuscripts were created as codices, which had superseded scrolls; some isolated single sheets survive. A very few illuminated manuscript fragments survive on papyrus. Most medieval manuscripts, illuminated or not, were written on parchment (most commonly of calf, sheep, or goat skin), but most manuscripts important enough to illuminate were written on the best quality of parchment, called vellum, traditionally made of unsplit calfskin, though high quality parchment from other skins was also called parchment.

Iconography

File:St. Theodor.jpg|thumb|There are few old ceramic icons, such as this St. Theodor icon which dates to ca. 900 (from Preslav, BulgariaBulgariaChristian art began, about two centuries after Christ, by borrowing motifs from Roman Imperial imagery, classical Greek and Roman religion and popular art. Religious images are used to some extent by the Abrahamic Christian faith, and often contain highly complex iconography, which reflects centuries of accumulated tradition. In the Late Antique period iconography began to be standardised, and to relate more closely to Biblical texts, although many gaps in the canonical Gospel narratives were plugged with matter from the apocryphal gospels. Eventually the Church would succeed in weeding most of these out, but some remain, like the ox and ass in the Nativity of Christ.An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity. Christianity has used symbolism from its very beginnings.{{CathEncy|wstitle=Symbolism}} In both East and West, numerous iconic types of Christ, Mary and saints and other subjects were developed; the number of named types of icons of Mary, with or without the infant Christ, was especially large in the East, whereas Christ Pantocrator was much the commonest image of Christ.Christian symbolism invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Religious symbolism is effective when it appeals to both the intellect and the emotions. Especially important depictions of Mary include the Hodegetria and Panagia types. Traditional models evolved for narrative paintings, including large cycles covering the events of the Life of Christ, the Life of the Virgin, parts of the Old Testament, and, increasingly, the lives of popular saints. Especially in the West, a system of attributes developed for identifying individual figures of saints by a standard appearance and symbolic objects held by them; in the East they were more likely to identified by text labels.Each saint has a story and a reason why he or she led an exemplary life. Symbols have been used to tell these stories throughout the history of the Church. A number of Christian saints are traditionally represented by a symbol or iconic motif associated with their life, termed an attribute or emblem, in order to identify them. The study of these forms part of iconography in Art history. They were particularly{{See also|Saint symbology|Iconography}}

Architecture

(File:Gotic3d2.jpg|thumb|The structure of a typical Gothic cathedral.)Christian architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Christianity to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Christian culture.Buildings were at first adapted from those originally intended for other purposes but, with the rise of distinctively ecclesiastical architecture, church buildings came to influence secular ones which have often imitated religious architecture. In the 20th century, the use of new materials, such as concrete, as well as simpler styles has had its effect upon the design of churches and arguably the flow of influence has been reversed. From the birth of Christianity to the present, the most significant period of transformation for Christian architecture in the west was the Gothic cathedral. In the east, Byzantine architecture was a continuation of Roman architecture.

Philosophy

Christian philosophy is a term to describe the fusion of various fields of philosophy with the theological doctrines of Christianity. Scholasticism, which means "that [which] belongs to the school", and was a method of learning taught by the academics (or school people) of medieval universities c. 1100–1500. Scholasticism originally started to reconcile the philosophy of the ancient classical philosophers with medieval Christian theology. Scholasticism is not a philosophy or theology in itself but a tool and method for learning which places emphasis on dialectical reasoning.{{Further|Christian apologetics|History of science in the Middle Ages}}

Christian civilization

{{Off topic|date=January 2018|Christianity and science}}File:God the Geometer.jpg|thumb|Science, and particularly geometry and astronomyastronomy

Medieval conditions

The Byzantine Empire, which was the most sophisticated culture during antiquity, suffered under Muslim conquests limiting its scientific prowess during the Medieval period. Christian Western Europe had suffered a catastrophic loss of knowledge following the fall of the Western Roman Empire. But thanks to the Church scholars such as Aquinas and Buridan, the West carried on at least the spirit of scientific inquiry which would later lead to Europe's taking the lead in science during the Scientific Revolution using translations of medieval works.Medieval technology refers to the technology used in medieval Europe under Christian rule. After the Renaissance of the 12th century, medieval Europe saw a radical change in the rate of new inventions, innovations in the ways of managing traditional means of production, and economic growth.Alfred Crosby described some of this technological revolution in his The Measure of Reality : Quantification in Western Europe, 1250–1600 and other major historians of technology have also noted it. The period saw major technological advances, including the adoption of gunpowder and the astrolabe, the invention of spectacles, and greatly improved water mills, building techniques, agriculture in general, clocks, and ships. The latter advances made possible the dawn of the Age of Exploration. The development of water mills was impressive, and extended from agriculture to sawmills both for timber and stone, probably derived from Roman technology. By the time of the Domesday Book, most large villages in Britain had mills. They also were widely used in mining, as described by Georg Agricola in De Re Metallica for raising ore from shafts, crushing ore, and even powering bellows.Significant in this respect were advances within the fields of navigation. The compass and astrolabe along with advances in shipbuilding, enabled the navigation of the World Oceans and thus domination of the worlds economic trade. Gutenberg’s printing press made possible a dissemination of knowledge to a wider population, that would not only lead to a gradually more egalitarian society, but one more able to dominate other cultures, drawing from a vast reserve of knowledge and experience.

Renaissance innovations

During the Renaissance, great advances occurred in geography, astronomy, chemistry, physics, math, manufacturing, and engineering. The rediscovery of ancient scientific texts was accelerated after the Fall of Constantinople, and the invention of printing which would democratize learning and allow a faster propagation of new ideas. Renaissance technology is the set of artifacts and customs, spanning roughly the 14th through the 16th century. The era is marked by such profound technical advancements like the printing press, linear perspectivity, patent law, double shell domes or Bastion fortresses. Draw-books of the Renaissance artist-engineers such as Taccola and Leonardo da Vinci give a deep insight into the mechanical technology then known and applied.Renaissance science spawned the Scientific Revolution; science and technology began a cycle of mutual advancement. The Scientific Renaissance was the early phase of the Scientific Revolution. In the two-phase model of early modern science: a Scientific Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, focused on the restoration of the natural knowledge of the ancients; and a Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, when scientists shifted from recovery to innovation.

Demographics

{{See also|List of Christian denominations by number of members|Christian population growth}}

Geographic spread

File:Christ Islam.png|thumb|upright=1.8|Relative geographic prevalence of Christianity versus IslamIslamIn 2009, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Christianity was the majority religion in Europe (including Russia) with 80%, Latin America with 92%, North America with 81%, and Oceania with 79%.BOOK, 2010, Britannica Book of the Year 2010,weblink Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 300, 9781615353668, 30 January 2018, There are also large Christian communities in other parts of the world, such as China, India and Central Asia, where Christianity is the second-largest religion after Islam. The United States is home to the world's largest Christian population, followed by Brazil and Mexico.WEB,weblink The Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population, 2011-12-19, Many Christians not only live under, but also have an official status in, a state religion of the following nations: Armenia (Armenian Apostolic Church),WEB,weblink Gov. Pataki Honors 1700th Anniversary of Armenia's Adoption of Christianity as a state religion, Aremnian National Committee of America, 2009-04-11,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20100615140846weblink">weblink 2010-06-15, yes, Costa Rica (Roman Catholic Church),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Costa Rica, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, Denmark (Church of Denmark),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Denmark, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, El Salvador (Roman Catholic Church),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink El Salvador, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, England (Church of England),WEB,weblink Church and State in Britain: The Church of privilege, Centre for Citizenship, 2008-05-11, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080511204430weblink">weblink 2008-05-11, Georgia (Georgian Orthodox church), Greece (Church of Greece), Iceland (Church of Iceland),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Iceland, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, Liechtenstein (Roman Catholic Church),WEB,weblink Liechtenstein, U.S. Department of State, 2008-05-11, Malta (Roman Catholic Church),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Malta, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, Monaco (Roman Catholic Church),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Monaco, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, Romania (Romanian Orthodox Church), Norway (Church of Norway),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Norway, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, Vatican City (Roman Catholic Church),ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Vatican, Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008-05-11, Switzerland (Roman Catholic Church, Swiss Reformed Church and Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland).

Number of adherents

The estimated number of Christians in the world ranges from 2.2 billion33.39% of ~7.2 billion world population (under the section 'People') WEB,weblink World, CIA world facts, WEB,weblink Christianity 2015: Religious Diversity and Personal Contact, gordonconwell.edu, January 2015, 2015-05-29,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20170525141543weblink">weblink 2017-05-25, yes, WEB,weblink Major Religions Ranked by Size, Adherents.com, 2009-05-05, WEB, ANALYSIS,weblink Global Christianity, Pewforum.org, 2011-12-19, 2012-08-17, to 2.4 billion people.{{efn|Current sources are in general agreement that Christians make up about 33% of the world's population—slightly over 2.4 billion adherents in mid-2015.}} The faith represents approximately one-third of the world's population and is the largest religion in the world,WEB,weblink Major Religions Ranked by Size, Adherents, 2007-12-31, with the three largest groups of Christians being the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church.Hinnells, The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, p. 441. The largest Christian denomination is the Catholic Church, with an estimated 1.2 billion adherents.NEWS, How many Roman Catholics are there in the world?,weblink BBC News, 2016-10-05, March 14, 2013, {| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align:center"Pew Research Center, 2010 data)HTTP://WWW.PEWFORUM.ORG/2011/12/19/GLOBAL-CHRISTIANITY-EXEC/, Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population, 19 December 2011, ! cyrus="col" | Tradition! scope="col" | Followers! scope="col" | % of the Christian population! scope="col" | % of the world population! scope="col" | Follower dynamics! scope="col" | Dynamics in- and outside Christianity
style="background: yellow"| Catholic Church| 1,094,610,000| 50.1| 15.9| {{increase}} Growing| {{decrease}} Declining
style="background: #B57EDC"| Protestantism| 800,640,000| 36.7| 11.6| {{increase}} Growing| {{increase}} Growing
style="background: #9F8170"| Orthodoxy| 260,380,000| 11.9| 3.8| {{decrease}} Declining| {{decrease}} Declining
style="background: cyan"| Other Christianity| 28,430,000| 1.3| 0.4| {{increase}} Growing| {{increase}} Growing
! Christianity! 2,184,060,000! 100! 31.7! {{increase}} Growing! {{nochange}} Stable

Notable Christian organizations

A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. In contrast, the term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to a group of individuals who are set apart for a special role or ministry. Historically, the word "order" designated an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordinatio meant legal incorporation into an ordo. The word "holy" refers to the Church. In context, therefore, a holy order is set apart for ministry in the Church. Religious orders are composed of initiates (laity) and, in some traditions, ordained clergies.Various organizations include:
  • In the Roman Catholic Church, religious institutes and secular institutes are the major forms of institutes of consecrated life, similar to which are societies of apostolic life. They are organisations of laity or clergy who live a common life under the guidance of a fixed rule and the leadership of a superior. (ed., see (:Category:Catholic orders and societies) for a particular listing.)
  • Anglican religious orders are communities of laity or clergy in the Anglican churches who live under a common rule of life. (ed., see (:Category:Anglican organizations) for a particular listing)
{{See also|Category:Christian organizations}}

Christianity law and ethics

Church and state framing

Within the framework of Christianity, there are at least three possible definitions for Church law. One is the Torah/Mosaic Law (from what Christians consider to be the Old Testament) also called Divine Law or Biblical law. Another is the instructions of Jesus of Nazareth in the Gospel (sometimes referred to as the Law of Christ or the New Commandment or the New Covenant). A third is canon law which is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of churches.{{CathEncy|wstitle=Canon law}} The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these three bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was initially a rule adopted by a council (From Greek kanon / κανών, Hebrew kaneh / קנה, for rule, standard, or measure); these canons formed the foundation of canon law.Christian ethics in general has tended to stress the need for grace, mercy, and forgiveness because of human weakness and developed while Early Christians were subjects of the Roman Empire. From the time Nero blamed Christians for setting Rome ablaze (64 AD) until Galarius (311 AD), persecutions against Christians erupted periodically. Consequently, Early Christian ethics included discussions of how believers should relate to Roman authority and to the empire.Under the Emperor Constantine I (312-337), Christianity became a legal religion. While some scholars debate whether Constantine's conversion to Christianity was authentic or simply matter of political expediency, Constantine's decree made the empire safe for Christian practice and belief. Consequently, issues of Christian doctrine, ethics and church practice were debated openly, see for example the First Council of Nicaea and the First seven Ecumenical Councils. By the time of Theodosius I (379-395), Christianity had become the state religion of the empire. With Christianity in power, ethical concerns broaden and included discussions of the proper role of the state.Render unto Caesar… is the beginning of a phrase attributed to Jesus in the synoptic gospels which reads in full, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s". This phrase has become a widely quoted summary of the relationship between Christianity and secular authority. The gospels say that when Jesus gave his response, his interrogators "marvelled, and left him, and went their way." Time has not resolved an ambiguity in this phrase, and people continue to interpret this passage to support various positions that are poles apart. The traditional division, carefully determined, in Christian thought is the state and church have separate spheres of influence.Thomas Aquinas thoroughly discussed that human law is positive law which means that it is natural law applied by governments to societies. All human laws were to be judged by their conformity to the natural law. An unjust law was in a sense no law at all. At this point, the natural law was not only used to pass judgment on the moral worth of various laws, but also to determine what the law said in the first place. This could result in some tension.Burns, "Aquinas's Two Doctrines of Natural Law." Late ecclesiastical writers followed in his footsteps.{{See also|Doctrine of the two kingdoms|Unam sanctam}}

Democratic ideology

Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in 19th-century Europe, largely under the influence of Catholic social teaching. In a number of countries, the democracy's Christian ethos has been diluted by secularisation. In practice, Christian democracy is often considered conservative on cultural, social and moral issues and progressive on fiscal and economic issues. In places, where their opponents have traditionally been secularist socialists and social democrats, Christian democratic parties are moderately conservative, whereas in other cultural and political environments they can lean to the left.

Women's roles

Attitudes and beliefs about the roles and responsibilities of women in Christianity vary considerably today as they have throughout the last two millennia — evolving along with or counter to the societies in which Christians have lived. The Bible and Christianity historically have been interpreted as excluding women from church leadership and placing them in submissive roles in marriage. Male leadership has been assumed in the church and within marriage, society and government.Blevins, Carolyn DeArmond, Women in Christian History: A Bibliography. Macon, Georgia: Mercer Univ Press, 1995. {{ISBN|0-86554-493-X}}Some contemporary writers describe the role of women in the life of the church as having been downplayed, overlooked, or denied throughout much of Christian history. Paradigm shifts in gender roles in society and also many churches has inspired reevaluation by many Christians of some long-held attitudes to the contrary. Christian egalitarians have increasingly argued for equal roles for men and women in marriage, as well as for the ordination of women to the clergy. Contemporary conservatives meanwhile have reasserted what has been termed a "complementarian" position, promoting the traditional belief that the Bible ordains different roles and responsibilities for women and men in the Church and family.

Major Christian denominations

{{Importance section|date=January 2018}}{|align=rightthumbA schematic of Christian denominational taxonomy. The different width of the lines (thickest for "Protestantism" and thinnest for "Oriental Orthodox" and "Nestorians") is without objective significance. Protestantism in general, and not just Restorationism, claims a direct connection with Early Christianity. Both the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches would consider themselves in unbroken continuity with the "early Christianity" line.)
thumbMajor branches and movements within Protestantism)
A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organisation, leadership and doctrine. Worldwide, Christians are divided, often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and another are defined by church doctrine and church authority. Centering on language of professed Christianity and true Christianity, issues that separate one group of followers of Jesus from another include: Christianity is composed of, but not limited to, five major branches of Churches: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Protestantism. Some listings include Anglicans among Protestants while others list the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox together as one group, thus the number of distinct major branches can vary between three and five depending on the listing. The Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorians) and the Old Catholic churches are also distinct Christian bodies of historic importance, but much smaller in adherents and geographic scope. Each of the branches has important subdivisions. Because the Protestant subdivisions do not maintain a common theology or earthly leadership, they are far more distinct than the subdivisions of the other four groupings. Denomination typically refers to one of the many Christian groupings including each of the multitude of Protestant subdivisions.{{See also|East–West Schism|History of the East–West Schism|History of the Roman Catholic Church|History of the Eastern Orthodox Church|History of Protestantism|History of the Anglican Communion|History of Oriental Orthodoxy}}

Sizes of denomination

{{See also|List of Christian denominations by number of members}}In Christendom, the largest denominations are:
  1. Roman Catholicism â€“ 1.3 billion
  2. Protestantism â€“ 540 million
  3. Eastern Orthodoxy â€“ 300 million
  4. Anglicanism â€“ 115 million
  5. Oriental Orthodoxy â€“ 75 million
  6. Nontrinitarianism â€“ 26 million
  7. Nestorianism â€“ 1 million
  8. Old Catholicism â€“ 0.4 million

See also

Notes

{{notelist}}

References

{{Reflist}}

Bibliography

20th century sources
{{colbegin}}
  • BOOK, The Return of Christendom,weblink 1922, Macmillan,
  • BOOK, Andrew Dickson White, A History of the warfare of science with theology in Christendom,weblink 1897, D. Appleton,
  • BOOK, F. G. Cole, Mother of All Churches: A Brief and Comprehensive Handbook of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church,weblink 1908, Skeffington,
{{colend}}
19th century sources
{{colbegin}} {{colend}}

Further reading

  • Bainton, Roland H. (1966). Christendom: a Short History of Christianity and Its Impact on Western Civilization, in series, Harper Colophon Books. New York: Harper & Row. 2 vol., ill.
  • Whalen, Brett Edward (2009). Dominion of God: Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

External links

{{wiktionary|Christendom}}{{Sister project links}}
Websites
  • {{CathEncy|wstitle=Union of Christendom}}
{{Christianity footer}}{{Western culture}}

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