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(1,835 words)

Author(s): Heinemann, Heribert | Fahlbusch, Erwin
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 comprises three “triads” with three “choirs”…

Armenian Apostolic Church

(702 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin
This is the most widespread Monophysite church. Of about 4 million members worldwide, some 3.5 million live in Armenia, 440,000 in Georgia, and the rest in other countries of the former Soviet Union, as well as the United States, Turkey, and Iran. The heartland of the church is Armenia, where the catholicos resides in the ancient monastery of Echmiadzin, Armenia. The broad dispersion of this much-tested church has taken place i…

Catholic, Catholicity

(2,292 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin
1. Term and Usage The word “catholic” (Gk. katholikos, “relating to the whole, comprehensive,” from katholou, “on the whole, generally”) has appeared often in philosophy from the time of Plato and Aristotle (Greek Philosophy). Theology adopted it in the lexical sense and developed its basic meaning with reference to the church, its teaching, and its members. 1.1. Though it does not occur in the NT, “catholic” as a predicate used of the church is found in Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 35-ca. 107), who distinguishes between the whole church, where Christ is, and the partial or …
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