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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(1,641 words)

Author(s): Moxter, Michael
1. The ancient Cynics were shadowy figures. The word “cynic” has never been explained etymologically, though it was usually thought to be the teaching place of the founder of the school, Antisthenes (b. ca. 445 b.c., a student of Socrates, who taught in the gymnasium Kynosarges), or to be grounded on a nickname: with Diogenes of Sinope (d. ca. 320 b.c.), a shameless and sarcastic pupil of Antisthenes, philosophy seemed to have gone “to the dogs” (Gk. kyōn, adj. kynikos). As “Socrates gone mad,” according to Plato, Diogenes attacked with a “quixotically evil tongue” …

Cyprian of Carthage

(1,171 words)

Author(s): Cardman, Francine
Caecilius Cyprianus became bishop of Carthage in North Africa in late 248 or early 249. If he was then middle-aged, a birth date of approximately 200 may be conjectured. Little is known of his early life, but it is generally surmised that he was from a wealthy Carthaginian family, had acquired a reputation ¶ as a rhetorician, and was among the intellectual elite of the city. Influenced by the presbyter Caecilius, Cyprian became a Christian at Easter 246, giving away much if not all of his property, embracing celibacy, and undertaking extensive read…


(1,081 words)

Author(s): Colpe, Carsten
Cyprus (Heb. Kittim, after the harbor Citium, mentioned often by the Phoenicians and the site of present-day Larnaca), from the Greek “Kypros” (etymology unknown), is a Mediterranean island 100 km. (60 mi.) west of the Syrian coast and 65 km. (40 mi.) south of the coast of Turkey. 1. Late Paleolithic and Neolithic settlement of Cyprus before the fourth millennium b.c. points to close relations with the Near East. During the third and second millennia the Copper and Bronze Age of Egypt, Crete, Mycenae, Syria, and Anatolia made Cyprus, with its rich m…

Cyril of Alexandria

(1,125 words)

Author(s): Cassel, J. David
1. Life Few facts are known with certainty about Cyril’s early life, but it appears that he was born in the town of Theodosian (near the present-day Egyptian city of Mahalla al-Kubra) sometime around 375 c.e. Cyril’s mother was the sister of Theophilus, the bishop of Alexandria. Cyril was initially educated in the classical Greek fashion, but after learning how to read and interpret secular texts, he continued his education by focusing on the Bible, theology, and Christian ¶ disciplines. This phase of Cyril’s education may have occurred under the tutelage of Didymus the Blind (d. 398), …

Czech Republic

(1,845 words)

Author(s): Filipi, Pavel
After the collapse of the Austrian Empire in 1918, what is now the Czech Republic formed part of the independent state of Czechoslovakia. With an interruption during the German occupation (1939–45) and throughout the period of Communist rule (1948–89), this situation continued until the peaceful separation from Slovakia in 1993. Prague, the largest city, is the capital. 1. Historical Survey After a short but important period of Slavic mission in the ninth century, the inhabitants of what is now the Czech Republic came under the political, cultural, and e…