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Intro to Christian Tradition terms


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Innocent III
One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages (1161 at Anagni - died 1216 at Perugia) reigned from 1198-1216. He claimed that he had the right to judge and control earthly rulers and that his judgements had divine authority because he was the mediator between God and man; after his election reasserted papal authority in Rome and take control away from the German government.
Canon Law
the body of laws and regulations made by or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members.
Ulrich Zwingli
(1484 - 1531) a Swiss theologian who was an early leader in the Protestant Reformation and who helped created one of the main branches of Protestantism, known as the Reformed Tradition; opposed Luther's objective sacramentalism by placing a greater emphasis on the importance of the inner disposition of the believer.
a movement that arose within the English Protestant church in the late 1500's and continued into the 1700's; the primary goals were to "purify" the English church by removing all traces of Roman Catholicism in doctrine and ceremony; advocated strict religious discipline and placed primary emphasis on the Bible rather than on traditions developed in the Christian community.
a religious movement of the 17th and 18th centuries which emphasized heartfelt religious devotion, ethical purity, charitable activity, and pastoral theology rather than sacramental or dogmatic precision
originated in 17th century Europe, gaining popularity in the 18th century Enlightenment especially in France, England, and America as a modernist movement inspired by the success of the scientific method; emphasized the exclusive application of reason and personal experience to religious questions; concerned with those truths which humans can discover through a process of reasoning, independent of any claimed divine revelation through scripture or prophets.
(1694 - 1778) a French Enlightenment writer, deist and philosopher who attacked Christianity; considered Christianity to be very detrimental.
A Liberal Protestant sect which holds as it distinctive tenet the belief in a uni-personal instead of a tri-personal God
had a much greater orientation towards power from below expressed in a much higher doctrine of the Holy Spirit and a more flexible authority structure.The Pentecostal movement within Protestant Christianity places special emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit; similar to the Charismatic movement, but developed earlier and separated from the mainstream church.
Desmond Tutu
(1931) a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, South African cleric, and activist who rose to worldwide fame in the 1980s through his opposition to apartheid; became the first black person to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa in 1986.
Reinhold Niebuhr
(1892-1971) a Protestant theologian best known for his study of the task of relating the Christian faith to the reality of modern politics and diplomacy.
members of a religious community founded in England in the 17th century by George Fox who believed that direct experience with God was available to all people, without any mediation; seek religious truth in inner experience, and place great reliance on conscience as the basis of morality.
a belief that at some point in the future there will be a Golden Age, a Paradise on earth when universal peace will reign, when all people will dwell in prosperity, the cosmos will be healed, and "Christ will reign".
Francis of Assisi
(1181 - 1226) founded the Franciscan Order or "Friars Minor"; revived faith by kindling anew a warm Christian devotion and reintroduced the faithful to the simple life.
a series of several military campaigns, usually sanctioned by the Papacy, that took place during the 11th through 13th centuries. Originally, they were Roman Catholic endeavors to capture the Holy Land from the Muslims. In a broader sense, "crusade" can be used, always in a rhetorical and metaphorical sense, to identify as righteous any war that is given a religious justification and asserted to be holy.
Menno Simons
(1496-1561) an Anabaptist religious leader; his followers became known as Mennonites. He rejected the more apocalyptic and mystical elements of radical reformation and established independent, strictly pacifist communities on firm biblical principles.
John Calvin
(1509–1564) founded Calvinism, a theologian and ecclesiastical statesman, wrote one of the most influential books of Protestantism, The Institutes of the Christian Religion. The ideas advanced in this work became the basis for the church and state Calvin would create in Geneva.
Teresa of Avilla
a Spanish Roman Catholic mystic and monastic reformer (1515-1582; entered the monastery of the Incarnation of the Carmelite nuns at Avila.
A term used to denote the religious belief and position of members of the established Church of England, and of the communicating churches in the British possessions and the United States and elsewhere; includes those who have accepted the work of the English Reformation as embodied in the Church of England.
(1564 – 1642), was a Tuscan astronomer, philosopher, and physicist who is closely associated with the scientific revolution; his writings on Copernican heliocentrism disturbed some in the Catholic Church, who believed in a geocentric model of the solar system.
(1700 - 1760), German religious and social reformer offered an asylum to a number of persecuted wanderers from Moravia, and built for them the village of Herrnhut; as a result the Moravians became the first large-scale Protestant missionary force in history.
term applied to a number of related movements within Protestantism bound together by a common emphasis on what they believe to be a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a commitment to the demands of the New Testament. Evangelicalism is usually associated with a type of preaching that calls on the hearer to confess his or her sin and believe in Christ's forgiveness.
Social Gospel
a prominent Protestant movement in the late 19th and early to mid 20th century that attempted to apply Christian principles to social problems; part of the Christian "modernism" trend with a strong emphasis on social justice, the movement was a rival to evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(1906 – 1945) a German religious leader and participant in the resistance movement against Nazism; a Lutheran pastor and theologian who took part in the plots being planned by members of the Abwehr to assassinate Hitler.
usually used with regard to movements toward religious unity. In its most broad meaning therefore, ecumenism is the religious initiative towards world-wide unity.
Ann Lee
(1736 - 1784) a member of the Shakers; believed in and taught her followers that it is possible to attain perfect holiness, taught that the demonstrations of shaking and trembling were caused by sin being purged from the body by the power of the Holy Spirit, purifying the worshipper.
Great Awakenings
periods of religious revival in Anglo-American religious history; also described as periodic revolutions in American religious thought.
Thomas Aquinas
(1225 – 1274) an Italian-Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition. He gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church, considered by the Catholic church to be its greatest theologian and one of the thirty-three Doctors of the Church
meditation, prayer, or theology focused on the direct experience of union with divinity, God, or Ultimate Reality: or the belief that such experience is genuine and important source of knowledge.
Martin Luther
(1483 – 1546) German theologian and Augustinian monk whose teachings inspired the Protestant Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines of Lutheran, Protestant and other Christian traditions. His call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible resulted in the formation of new traditions within Christianity and his teachings undoubtedly impacted upon the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church. Luther's translation of the Bible helped to develop a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation.
are Christians of the so-called "radical wing" of the Protestant Reformation. The term was coined by critics, who objected to the practice of performing baptism for adults whose previous baptism, as infants, the Anabaptists claimed was not valid.
Ignatius Loyola
(1491–1556) the founder of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order commonly known as the Jesuits that was established to strengthen the Church, initially against Protestantism.
name given to the intellectual, literary, and scientific movement of the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, a movement which aimed at basing every branch of learning on the literature and culture of classical antiquity
Justification by faith
a Martin Luther doctrine(sola gratia) held by some Protestant denominations of Christianity, which asserts that it is on the basis of their faith that believers are forgiven their transgressions of the Law of God, rather than on the basis of good works which they have done.
John Wesley
(1703-1791) an 18th century preacher and the founder of the Methodist denomination of Protestant Christianity and a life-long opponent of slavery.
A movement within the Christian tradition which emphasizes the appeal of religion to the emotional and affectional nature of individuals as well as to their intellectual and rational nature.
Francis Xavier
(1506 - 1552) a pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order). The Xaverian Brothers are named after him. The Roman Catholic Church considers him to have converted more people to Christianity than anyone else since St. Paul.
anti-modernist movements in various religions; refers specifically to the belief that one's religious texts are infallible and historically accurate, despite contradiction of these claims by modern scholarship.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(1815 – 1902) social activist and leading figure of the early women's rights movement in the United States; wrote many of the more important documents and speeches of the women's rights movement and was the primary organizer of the 1848 Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.
Richard Allen
(1760 - 1831) founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia and was elected its first bishop.
Dominican Order
a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic in the early 13th century; one of the great orders of mendicant friars that revolutionized religious life in Europe during the high middle ages.
Julian of Norwich
(c. 1342-c. 1413) considered to be one of the greatest English mystics, had a series of intense visions which became the source of her major work, called Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love - which spoke of God's love in terms of joy and compassion as opposed to law and duty
Henry VIII
(1491–1547) King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1509 until his death; the break with Rome and the subsequent establishment of the independent Church of England was carried out during his reign, and the Act which severed the English Church from the Roman Catholic Church and established Henry as the head of the Church in England was enacted during Henry VIII's reign.
ruled by its bishops, until the Reformation, when itbecame a republic; sometimes dubbed the Protestant Rome. In the 16th century it was the center of Calvinism
Council of Trent
an ecumenical council of the Catholic Church held in discontinuous sessions between 1545 and 1563 in response to the Protestant Reformation. It clearly specified Catholic doctrines on salvation, the sacraments and the Biblical canon, in opposition to the Protestants, and standardised the Mass throughout the church, largely abolishing local variations
Sola Scriptura
one of five important slogans of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. It meant that Scripture is the only inerrant rule for deciding issues of faith and practices that involve doctrines.
John Locke
(1632–1704) 17th century philosopher concerned primarily with society and epistemology; helped to lay the foundations of the modern theory of natural law
A religious movement which was originated in 1739 by John Wesley in the Anglican Church, and subsequently gave rise to numerous separate denominations
Biblical Criticism
term covering various techniques used mainly by mainline and liberal Christian theologians to study the meaning of Biblical passages. It uses general historical principles, and is based primarily on reason rather than revelation or faith; goal was to discredit and ridicule the Bible and Christianity
Lottie Moon
(1840- 1912) Baptist missionary to China
Billy Graham
an American Christian evangelist who has preached the message of Christianity around the world
Vatican II
an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church which brought changes in how Church sacraments were practiced, the use of vernacular languages for the Mass, and a new attitude towards their relationship with non-Catholics.
M.L. King Jr.
(1929 – 1968) Nobel Laureate, Baptist minister, and African American civil rights activist; one of the most significant leaders in U.S. history and in the modern history of nonviolence, and is considered a hero, peacemaker and martyr by many people around the world
Harriet Tubman
(1820 - 1913), known as Black Moses, an African-American freedom fighter. An escaped slave, she worked as a refugee organizer, raid leader and intelligence commander, nurse and healer, revival speaker, feminist and fundraiser, all as part of the struggle for liberation against slavery and racism
term generally applied to organizations formed for the purpose of extending religious teaching, whether at home or abroad. It also indicates the stations or the fields where such teaching is given.

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