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Hierarchy
(1,835 words)

1. Church Law

1.1. Hierarchy derives from Gk. hiera archē, denoting holy origin or rule. Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite seems to have been the first to use the term in theology to expound and rank the ministry. His works The Celestial Hierarchy and The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy at the end of the fifth century give clear evidence of a Neoplatonic origin, which he tries to fuse with Christian doctrine. For him the ecclesiastical hierarchy is a reflection of the celestial hierarchy. As the latter …

Cite this page
Heinemann, Heribert and Fahlbusch, Erwin, “Hierarchy”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 20 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_H154>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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