Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

Get access Subject: Religious Studies
Editors: Erwin Fahlbusch, Jan Milič Lochman, John Mbiti, Jaroslav Pelikan and Lukas Vischer

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The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online describes modern-day Christian beliefs and communities in the context of 2000 years of apostolic tradition and Christian history. Based on the third, revised edition of the critically acclaimed German work Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online includes all 5 volumes of the print edition of 1999-2008 which has become a standard reference work for the study of Christianity past and present. Comprehensive, reflecting the highest standards in scholarship yet intended for a wide range of readers, the The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online also looks outward beyond Christianity, considering other world religions and philosophies as it paints the overall religious and socio-cultural picture in which the Christianity finds itself.

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See Latin American Council of Bishops

Celibacy of the Clergy

(2,010 words)

Author(s): Pfürtner, Stephan H.
1. History The word “celibacy” derives from the Lat. caelibatus, which, as used by Cicero, Seneca, Suetonius, and others, refers to the unmarried state of both men and women. Its historical appropriation by theology and the church, however, has been largely unexplored. The word had no great currency even as late as the Middle Ages. According to the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983, it denotes the duty of clergy “to observe perfect and perpetual continence [from sexual relations] for the sake of the kingdom …


(2,106 words)

Author(s): Boehlke, Hans-Kurt
1. The Word The word “cemetery” comes from a Greek word meaning “dormitory” or “sleeping chamber” and denotes the final resting place of our body. 2. Definition Legally, the cemetery is an institution for public burial. With secularization it has come into communal or private hands. Churches also administer places for burial in many lands. Burial may take place either in graves or in vaults. 3. Forms 3.1. Europe 3.1.1. In central and northern Europe we find communal, private, and church cemeteries, but there are few differences in practice. In cities the trend to…


(499 words)

Author(s): Weber, Hermann
Censorship refers broadly to the changing or suppressing of thoughts and actions that a society believes are detrimental to the common good. In the context of the Roman Catholic Church, censorship involves the official examination and approval of both the production and the distribution of printed works before and after their publication (so-called pre- and post-censorship). According to contemporary Roman Catholic canon law, “the pastors of the Church have the duty and the right to be vigilant …


(759 words)

Author(s): Weber, Hermann
1. Catholic Canon Law In the church law of the Roman Catholic Church, censures are punishments imposed by the church primarily in order to restore delinquents to obedience (and which are thus to be remitted if the latter abandon their contumacy; 1983 CIC 1358, in connection with 1347.2). By contrast, expiatory (vindication) penalties serve primarily the retribution of a punishable deed (cans. 1336ff.). Canon law knows three punishments: excommunication, interdict, and suspension. All three, depending on the offense, are imposed either …

Central African Republic

(810 words)

Author(s): Stadler, Paul
1. General Situation The Central African Republic, a landlocked country, has French as its official language, with Sango a trade language spoken by most of the population. Other main languages correspond to the country’s various ethnic groups; the largest are Baya, Banda, and Mandja. After the French gained control of the area in the late 19th century, the region was called Ubangi-Shari; later the area was incorporated into the Afrique Équatoriale Française (Colonialism). On August 13, 1960, it gai…
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