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Body of Doctrine

Body of Doctrine

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Body of Doctrine in Protestant theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 of the 16th and 17th centuries is the anthology of the confessional
Seal of the Confessional and the Lutheran Church
The Seal of the Confessional is a doctrine of the Catholic Church that protects the words spoken during confession. A form of this principle survives in many modern Lutheran churches....

 or credal
Creed
A creed is a statement of belief—usually a statement of faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community—and is often recited as part of a religious service. When the statement of faith is longer and polemical, as well as didactic, it is not called a creed but a Confession of faith...

 writings of a group of Christians with a common Confession of faith
Confession of Faith
A Confession of Faith is a statement of doctrine very similar to a creed, but usually longer and polemical, as well as didactic.Confessions of Faith are in the main, though not exclusively, associated with Protestantism...

.

It was a term first used by Philipp Melanchthon
Philipp Melanchthon
Philipp Melanchthon , born Philipp Schwartzerdt, was a German reformer, collaborator with Martin Luther, the first systematic theologian of the Protestant Reformation, intellectual leader of the Lutheran Reformation, and an influential designer of educational systems...

, a collection of whose confessional writings was published as the Corpus Doctrinae Philippicum or the Corpus Doctrinae Misnicum. Melanchthon had conceived the notion of assembling his most important theological writings, along with the ecumenical creeds, into a single book called a corpus doctrinae, or body of doctrine. The Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 printer, Ernst Vögelin, published it with Melanchthon’s preface around the time of the reformer’s death in April 1560.

These writings were used as the normative proclamation and teaching of that group or denomination of Christians. For Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 in the mid 16th century these anthologies  were formulated for the various duchies and principalities of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. They were the prototype of the Book of Concord
Book of Concord
The Book of Concord or Concordia is the historic doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church, consisting of ten credal documents recognized as authoritative in Lutheranism since the 16th century...

, which historically is considered by Lutherans to be their definitive Body of Doctrine. However, because some of the corpera doctrinæ were considered to be faulty and to avoid confusion of the Book of Concord
Book of Concord
The Book of Concord or Concordia is the historic doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church, consisting of ten credal documents recognized as authoritative in Lutheranism since the 16th century...

 with the Corpus doctrinæ Philippicum, the compilers of the Book of Concord
Book of Concord
The Book of Concord or Concordia is the historic doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church, consisting of ten credal documents recognized as authoritative in Lutheranism since the 16th century...

deliberately refrained from using the designation corpus doctrinæ for it.