Christendom

Christendom

Overview


Christendom, or the Christian world, has several meanings. In a cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s, adherents of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. In a historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 or geopolitical
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

 sense the term usually refers collectively to Christian majority countries or countries in which Christianity dominates or was a territorial phenomenon.

The term Christendom is developed from the Latin word Christianus.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Christendom'
Start a new discussion about 'Christendom'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia


Christendom, or the Christian world, has several meanings. In a cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s, adherents of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. In a historical
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 or geopolitical
Geopolitics
Geopolitics, from Greek Γη and Πολιτική in broad terms, is a theory that describes the relation between politics and territory whether on local or international scale....

 sense the term usually refers collectively to Christian majority countries or countries in which Christianity dominates or was a territorial phenomenon.

Terminology and usage


The term Christendom is developed from the Latin word Christianus. The Christian world is also known collectively as the Corpus Christianum. The Latin term Corpus Christianum is often translated as the Christian body, meaning the community of all Christians. The Christian polity, embodying a less secular meaning, can be compatible with the idea of both a religious and a temporal body: Corpus Christianum. The Corpus Christianum can be seen as a Christian equivalent of the Muslim Ummah
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

. The Kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

is also frequently used, denoting that the Christian world is within (or among) people.

"Christendom" is used in this article to denote the global community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 of Biblical Christianity. Christendom as such is set on the appellation of religious aspects. However, the word is also used with its other meaning to frame-true Christianity
Framing (social sciences)
A frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation — that is, a collection of anecdotes and stereotypes—that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events. In simpler terms, people build a series of mental filters through biological and cultural influences. They use these...

. A more secular meaning can denote that the term Christendom refers to Christians considered as a group, the "Political Christian World", as an informal cultural hegemony
Cultural hegemony
Cultural hegemony is the philosophic and sociological theory, by the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci, that a culturally diverse society can be dominated by one social class, by manipulating the societal culture so that its ruling-class worldview is imposed as the societal norm, which then is...

 that Christianity has traditionally enjoyed in the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

. The christian influence was a power in the religious world, streching from the coast of Portugal to India.

Early Christendom



In the beginning of Christendom, early Christianity was a religion spread in the Greek/Roman world and beyond as a 1st century Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 sect, which historians refer to as Jewish Christianity. It may be divided into two distinct phases: the apostolic period
Apostolic Age
The Apostolic Age of the history of Christianity is traditionally the period of the Twelve Apostles, dating from the Crucifixion of Jesus and the Great Commission in Jerusalem until the death of John the Apostle in Anatolia...

, when the first apostles were alive and organising the Church, and the post-apostolic period, when an early episcopal structure
Historical episcopate
The episcopate is the collective body of all bishops of a church. In the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Rite Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Old-Catholic, Moravian Church, and Independent Catholic churches as well as in the Assyrian Church of the East, it is held that only a...

 developed, whereby bishoprics were governed by bishops (overseers).

The post-apostolic period concerns the time roughly after the death of the apostles when bishops emerged as overseers of urban Christian populations. The earliest recorded use of the terms Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

(Greek ) and Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

(Greek ), dates to this period, the 2nd century
Christianity in the 2nd century
The 2nd century of Christianity was largely the time of the Apostolic Fathers who were the students of the apostles of Jesus, though there is some overlap as John the Apostle may have survived into the 2nd century and the early Apostolic Father Clement of Rome is said to have died at the end of the...

, attributed to Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius of Antioch was among the Apostolic Fathers, was the third Bishop of Antioch, and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology...

 c. 107. Early Christendom would close at the end of imperial persecution of Christians after the ascension of Constantine the Great and the Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire...

 in AD 313 and the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325...

 in 325.

Late Antiquity and Middle Ages



"Christendom" has referred to the medieval and renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 notion of the Christian world as a sociopolitical polity
Polity
Polity is a form of government Aristotle developed in his search for a government that could be most easily incorporated and used by the largest amount of people groups, or states...

. In essence, the earliest vision of Christendom was a vision of a Christian theocracy
Theocracy
Theocracy is a form of organization in which the official policy is to be governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided, or simply pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religious sect or religion....

, a government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 founded upon and upholding Christian values
Christian values
The term Christian values historically refers to the values found in the teachings of Jesus.The biblical teachings of Jesus include:* love of God: "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" ,...

, whose institutions are spread through and over with Christian doctrine. In this period, members of the Christian clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

 wield political authority. The specific relationship between the political leaders and the clergy varied but, in theory, the national and political divisions were at times subsumed under the leadership of the church as an institution
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

. This model of church-state relations was accepted by various Church leaders and political leaders in European history.


The Church gradually became a defining institution of the Empire. Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan
Edict of Milan
The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire...

 in 313 proclaiming toleration for the Christian religion, and convoked the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325...

 in 325 whose Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the creed or profession of faith that is most widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because, in its original form, it was adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first ecumenical council, which met there in the year 325.The Nicene Creed has been normative to the...

 included belief in "one holy catholic and apostolic Church". Christianity became the state religion of the Empire
State church of the Roman Empire
The state church of the Roman Empire was a Christian institution organized within the Roman Empire during the 4th century that came to represent the Empire's sole authorized religion. Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox churches claim to be the historical continuation of this...

 in 392 when Theodosius I prohibited the practice of pagan religions
Religion in ancient Rome
Religion in ancient Rome encompassed the religious beliefs and cult practices regarded by the Romans as indigenous and central to their identity as a people, as well as the various and many cults imported from other peoples brought under Roman rule. Romans thus offered cult to innumerable deities...

 with the Edict of Thessalonica
Edict of Thessalonica
The Edict of Thessalonica, also known as Cunctos populos, was delivered on 27 February 380 by Theodosius I, Gratian, and Valentinian II in order that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria...

.

As the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 disintegrated
Decline of the Roman Empire
The decline of the Roman Empire refers to the gradual societal collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Many theories of causality prevail, but most concern the disintegration of political, economic, military, and other social institutions, in tandem with foreign invasions and usurpers from within the...

 into feudal kingdom
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

s and principalities, the concept of Christendom changed as the western church became one of five patriarchal of the Pentarchy and the Christians of the Eastern Roman Empire developed. The Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 was the last bastion of Christendom. Christendom would take a turn with the rise of the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

, a Germanic tribe who converted to the Christian faith and entered into communion with Rome. On Christmas Day 800 AD, Pope Leo III
Pope Leo III
Pope Saint Leo III was Pope from 795 to his death in 816. Protected by Charlemagne from his enemies in Rome, he subsequently strengthened Charlemagne's position by crowning him as Roman Emperor....

 made the fateful decision to switch his allegiance from the emperors in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and crowned Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, the king of the Franks, as the Emperor of what came to be known as 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...

. The Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire is a historiographical term which has been used to refer to the realm of the Franks under the Carolingian dynasty in the Early Middle Ages. This dynasty is seen as the founders of France and Germany, and its beginning date is based on the crowning of Charlemagne, or Charles the...

 created a definition of Christendom in juxtaposition with the Byzantine Empire, that of a distributed versus centralized culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 respectively.

After the collapse of Charlemagne's empire, the southern remnants of the Holy Roman Empire became a collection of states loosely connected
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

 to the Holy See of Rome
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

. Tensions between Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was Pope from 8 January 1198 until his death. His birth name was Lotario dei Conti di Segni, sometimes anglicised to Lothar of Segni....

 and secular rulers ran high, as the pontiff exerted control over their temporal counterparts in the west and vice versa. The pontificate of Innocent III is considered the height of temporal power of the papacy. The Corpus Christianum described the then current notion of the community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 of all Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s united under the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. The community was to be guided by Christian values in its politics, economics and social life. Its legal basis was the corpus iuris canonica
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

(body of canon law).
In the East, Christendom became more defined as the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

's gradual loss of territory to an expanding Islam
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 and the muslim conquest of Persia. This caused Christianity to become important to the Byzantine identity. After the East-West Schism
East-West Schism
The East–West Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively...

 which divided the Church religiously, there had been the notion of a universal Christendom that included the East and the West. The Byzantines divided themselves in the Byzantine rite
Byzantine Rite
The Byzantine Rite, sometimes called the Rite of Constantinople or Constantinopolitan Rite is the liturgical rite used currently by all the Eastern Orthodox Churches, by the Greek Catholic Churches , and by the Protestant Ukrainian Lutheran Church...

 of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 and the eastern rite of the Catholic Church. The political reunion with the west, after the East-West schism, was put asunder by the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
The Fourth Crusade was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire...

 when Crusaders
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

 conquered the Byzantine capital of Constantinople
Siege of Constantinople (1204)
The Siege of Constantinople occurred in 1204; it destroyed parts of the capital of the Byzantine Empire as it was confiscated by Western European and Venetian Crusaders...

 and hastened the decline of the Byzantine Empire
Decline of the Byzantine Empire
The decline of the Byzantine Empire was a process similar to the decline of the Western Roman Empire, in that it lasted many centuries. There is no clear consensus on when this process began; but many dates and time lines have been proposed by historians....

 on the path to its destruction. With the breakup of the Byzantine Empire into individual nations with nationalist Orthodox Churches, the term Christendom described Western Europe, Catholicism, Orthodox Byzantines, and other Eastern rites of the Church.

The Catholic Church's peak of authority over all European Christians and their common endeavours of the Christian community — for example, the Crusades
Crusades
The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem...

, the fight against the Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 and against the Ottomans in the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 — helped to develop a sense of communal identity against the obstacle of Europe's deep political divisions. But this authority was also sometimes abused, and fostered the Inquisition
Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

 and anti-Jewish
Anti-Judaism
Religious antisemitism is a form of antisemitism, which is the prejudice against, or hostility toward, the Jewish people based on hostility to Judaism and to Jews as a religious group...

 pogroms, to root out divergent elements and create a religiously uniform community. Ultimately, the Inquisition was done away with by order of the Pope Innocent III.
Christendom ultimately was led into specific crisis in the late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

, when the kings
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 of France managed to establish a French national church during the 14th century and the papacy became ever more aligned with the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Known as the Western Schism
Western Schism
The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. Two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance . The simultaneous claims to the papal chair...

, western Christendom was a split between three men, who were driven by politics rather than any real theological disagreement for simultaneously claiming to be the true pope. The Avignon Papacy
Avignon Papacy
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Popes resided in Avignon, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown....

 developed a reputation of corruption that estranged major parts of Western Christendom. The Avignon schism was ended by the Council of Constance
Council of Constance
The Council of Constance is the 15th ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V.The Council also condemned and...

.

Before the modern period, Christendom was in a general crisis at the time of the Renaissance Popes
Renaissance Papacy
The Renaissance Papacy was a period of papal history between the Western Schism and the Protestant Reformation. From the election of Pope Martin V of the Council of Constance in 1417 to the Reformation, Western Christianity was largely free from schism as well as significant disputed papal claimants...

 because of the moral laxity of these pontiffs and their willingness to seek and rely on temporal power as secular rulers did. Many in the Catholic Church's hierarchy in the Renaissance became increasingly entangled with insatiable greed for material wealth and temporal power, which led to many reform movements, some merely wanting a moral reformation of the Church's clergy, while others repudiated the Church and separated from it in order to form new sects. The Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 produced ideas or institutions by which men living in society could be held together in harmony. In the early 16th century, Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione, count of was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author.-Biography:Castiglione was born into an illustrious Lombard family at Casatico, near Mantua, where his family had constructed an impressive palazzo...

 (The Book of the Courtier) laid out his vision of the ideal gentleman and lady, while Machiavelli cast a jaundiced eye on "la verita effetuale delle cose" — the actual truth of things — in The Prince
The Prince
The Prince is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus . But the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after...

, composed, humanist style, chiefly of parallel ancient and modern examples of Virtù
Virtù
Virtu comes from Italian virtù "virtue, excellence," from Latin virtus, "excellence, worth, goodness, virtue." See also vertù.According to the Oxford Dictionary, Virtu means "a love of fine arts." Examples of this are seen here:...

. Some Protestant movements grew up along lines of mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 or renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

 (cf
Cf
-Business:* Catelli i Fiorani, a defunct Italian motorcycle maker bought by Fusi* CF, the IATA code for City Airline* Consolidated Freightways, a former trucking company in the United States-Economics:...

. Erasmus). The Catholic Church fell into general neglect under the Renaissance Popes, whose inability to govern the Church properly set the climate for what would ultimately become the Protestant Reformation.

Reformation and Modern era


The Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 and the ensuing rise of independent states caused the term "Christendom" to take on a new, more general, meaning in Western Europe, signifying countries which were predominantly Christian (Regardless of whether they were Catholic or Protestant) as opposed to Islamic or pagan countries. Catholics at the time advocated Christendom's restoration and argued that, with the fragmented nature of Protestantism's many denominations, Christendom could only apply to the civilization of Catholic nations that espoused the doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King
Christ the King
Christ the King is a title of Jesus based on several passages of Scripture. It is used by most Christians. The Roman Catholic Church, together with many Protestant denominations, including the Anglican Churches, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Methodists, celebrate the Feast of Christ the King on the...

, and which recognised the Catholic Church. The Catholic nations did represent a large portion of European Christians and the Corpus Christianum initially was composed of the Christian community of these nations, rather than all Christians worldwide.

Developments in western philosophy and European events brought change to the notion of the Corpus Christianum. The Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

 accelerated the process of transforming France from a feudal monarchy to a centralized state. The rise of strong, centralized monarchies
Absolutism (European history)
Absolutism or The Age of Absolutism is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by all other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites...

 denoted the European transition from feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 to capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

. By the end of the Hundred Years' War, both France and England were able to raise enough money through taxation to create independent standing armies. In the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

, Henry Tudor
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

 took the crown of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. His heir, the absolute
Absolutism (European history)
Absolutism or The Age of Absolutism is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by all other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites...

 king Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 establishing the English church
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

.

In modern history
Modern history
Modern history, or the modern era, describes the historical timeline after the Middle Ages. Modern history can be further broken down into the early modern period and the late modern period after the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution...

, the Reformation and rise of modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

 in the early 16th century entailed a change in the Corpus Christianum. In 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...

, the Peace of Augsburg
Peace of Augsburg
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg, now in present-day Bavaria, Germany.It officially ended the religious...

 of 1555 officially ended the idea among secular leaders that all Christians must be united under one church. The principle of cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio
Cuius regio, eius religio is a phrase in Latin translated as "Whose realm, his religion", meaning the religion of the ruler dictated the religion of the ruled...

("whose the region is, his religion") established the religious, political and geographic divisions of Christianity, and this was established with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, which legally ended the concept of a single Christian hegemony in the territories of the Holy Roman Empire, despite the Catholic Church's doctrine that it alone is the one true Church founded by Christ.
Subsequently, each government determined the religion of their own state. Christians living in states where their denomination was not the established one were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in public during allotted hours and in private at their will.
With the Treaty of Westphalia, the Wars of Religion
European wars of religion
The European wars of religion were a series of wars waged in Europe from ca. 1524 to 1648, following the onset of the Protestant Reformation in Western and Northern Europe...

 came to an end, and in the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 of 1713 the concept of the sovereign national state
National sovereignty
National sovereignty is the doctrine that sovereignty belongs to and derives from the nation, an abstract entity normally linked to a physical territory and its past, present, and future citizens. It is an ideological concept or doctrine derived from liberal political theory...

 was born.

The Corpus Christianum has since existed with the modern idea of a tolerant and diverse society consisting of many different communities.

Writings and poetry



Christian literature
Christian literature
Christian Literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing.-Scripture:...

 is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing. Christian poetry
Christian poetry
Christian poetry is any poetry that contains Christian teachings, themes, or references. The influence of Christianity on poetry has been great in any area that Christianity has taken hold...

 is any poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 that contains Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 teachings, themes, or references. The influence of Christianity on poetry has been great in any area that Christianity has taken hold. Christian poems often directly reference the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

, while others provide allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

.

Supplemental arts



Christian art
Christian art
Christian art is sacred art produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity, though other definitions are possible. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of...

 is art produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity. Virtually all Christian groupings use or have used art to some extent. The prominence of art and the media, style, and representations change; however, the unifying theme is ultimately the representation of the life and times of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and in some cases the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

. Depictions of saints are also common, especially in Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, Roman Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

.

Illumination



An illuminated manuscript
Illuminated manuscript
An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations...

 is a manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

 in which the text
Writing
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols . It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.Writing most likely...

 is supplemented by the addition of decoration. The earliest surviving substantive illuminated manuscripts are from the period AD 400 to 600, primarily produced in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The majority of surviving manuscripts are from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, although many illuminated manuscripts survive from the 15th century Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, along with a very limited number from Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity
Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the time of transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world. Precise boundaries for the period are a matter of debate, but noted historian of the period Peter Brown proposed...

.

Most illuminated manuscripts were created as codices
Codex
A codex is a book in the format used for modern books, with multiple quires or gatherings typically bound together and given a cover.Developed by the Romans from wooden writing tablets, its gradual replacement...

, which had superseded scrolls; some isolated single sheets survive. A very few illuminated manuscript fragments survive on papyrus
Papyrus
Papyrus is a thick paper-like material produced from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge that was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt....

. Most medieval manuscripts, illuminated or not, were written on parchment
Parchment
Parchment is a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin, often split. Its most common use was as a material for writing on, for documents, notes, or the pages of a book, codex or manuscript. It is distinct from leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned; therefore, it is very...

 (most commonly of calf
Calfskin
Calfskin is a leather or membrane produced from the hide of a calf. Calfskin is particularly valuable because of its softness, and non fine grain. It is commonly used for high-quality shoes, wallets and similar products, as well as traditional leather bookbindings...

, sheep, or goat skin), but most manuscripts important enough to illuminate were written on the best quality of parchment, called vellum
Vellum
Vellum is mammal skin prepared for writing or printing on, to produce single pages, scrolls, codices or books. It is generally smooth and durable, although there are great variations depending on preparation, the quality of the skin and the type of animal used...

, traditionally made of unsplit calfskin
Calfskin
Calfskin is a leather or membrane produced from the hide of a calf. Calfskin is particularly valuable because of its softness, and non fine grain. It is commonly used for high-quality shoes, wallets and similar products, as well as traditional leather bookbindings...

, though high quality parchment from other skins was also called parchment.

Iconography




Christian art began, about two centuries after Christ, by borrowing motifs from Roman Imperial imagery, classical Greek and Roman religion and popular art. Religious images are used to some extent by the Abrahamic Christian faith, and often contain highly complex iconography, which reflects centuries of accumulated tradition. In the Late Antique period iconography began to be standardised, and to relate more closely to Biblical texts, although many gaps in the canonical Gospel narratives were plugged with matter from the apocryphal gospels
Apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

. Eventually the Church would succeed in weeding most of these out, but some remain, like the ox and ass in the Nativity of Christ
Nativity of Jesus in art
The Nativity of Jesus has been a major subject of Christian art since the 4th century. The artistic depictions of the Nativity or birth of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas, are based on the narratives in the Bible, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and further elaborated by written, oral and...

.

An icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Eastern Christianity
Eastern Christianity comprises the Christian traditions and churches that developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa, India and parts of the Far East over several centuries of religious antiquity. The term is generally used in Western Christianity to...

 or one of the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. Christianity has used symbolism
Christian symbolism
Christian symbolism invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Religious symbolism is effective when it appeals to both the intellect and...

 from its very beginnings. In both East and West, numerous iconic types of Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

, Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

 and saints and other subjects were developed; the number of named types of icons of Mary, with or without the infant Christ, was especially large in the East, whereas Christ Pantocrator
Christ Pantocrator
In Christian iconography, Christ Pantokrator refers to a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator or Pantokrator is a translation of one of many Names of God in Judaism...

 was much the commonest image of Christ.

Christian symbolism
Christian symbolism
Christian symbolism invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Religious symbolism is effective when it appeals to both the intellect and...

 invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Religious symbolism
Religious symbolism
Religious symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomena, by a religion. Religions view religious texts, rituals, and works of art as symbols of compelling ideas or ideals...

 is effective when it appeals to both the intellect and the emotions. Especially important depictions of Mary include the Hodegetria
Hodegetria
A Hodegetria — or Virgin Hodegetria — is an iconographic depiction of the Theotokos holding the Child Jesus at her side while pointing to Him as the source of salvation for mankind...

 and Panagia
Panagia
Panagia , also transliterated Panayia or Panaghia, is one of the titles of Mary, the mother of Jesus, used especially in Orthodox Christianity....

 types. Traditional models evolved for narrative paintings, including large cycles covering the events of the Life of Christ, the Life of the Virgin
Life of the Virgin
The Life of the Virgin, showing narrative scenes from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a common subject for pictorial cycles in Christian art, often complementing, or forming part of, a cycle on the Life of Christ. In both cases the number of scenes shown varies greatly with the space...

, parts of the Old Testament, and, increasingly, the lives of popular saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s. Especially in the West, a system of attributes
Emblem
An emblem is a pictorial image, abstract or representational, that epitomizes a concept — e.g., a moral truth, or an allegory — or that represents a person, such as a king or saint.-Distinction: emblem and symbol:...

 developed for identifying individual
Saint symbology
Christianity has used symbolism from its very beginnings. Each saint has a story and a reason why he or she led an exemplary life. Symbols have been used to tell these stories throughout the history of the Church. A number of Christian saints are traditionally represented by a symbol or iconic...

 figures of saints by a standard appearance and symbolic objects held by them; in the East they were more likely to identified by text labels.

Each saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 has a story and a reason why he or she led an exemplary life. Symbols have been used to tell these stories throughout the history of the Church. A number of Christian saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s are traditionally represented by a symbol or iconic motif
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 associated with their life, termed an attribute or emblem
Emblem
An emblem is a pictorial image, abstract or representational, that epitomizes a concept — e.g., a moral truth, or an allegory — or that represents a person, such as a king or saint.-Distinction: emblem and symbol:...

, in order to identify them. The study of these forms part of iconography
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 in Art history
Art history
Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style...

. They were particularly

Architecture



Christian architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Christianity to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Christian culture.

Buildings were at first adapted from those originally intended for other purposes but, with the rise of distinctively ecclesiastical architecture, church buildings came to influence secular ones which have often imitated religious architecture. In the 20th century, the use of new materials, such as concrete, as well as simpler styles has had its effect upon the design of churches and arguably the flow of influence has been reversed. From the birth of Christianity to the present, the most significant period of transformation for Christian architecture in the west was the Gothic cathedral
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

. In the east, Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

 was a continuation of Roman architecture
Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

.

Philosophy


Christian philosophy
Christian philosophy
Christian philosophy may refer to any development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from a Christian tradition.- Origins of Christian philosophy :...

 is a term to describe the fusion of various fields of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 with the theological
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...

 doctrines of Christianity. Scholasticism
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

, which means "that [which] belongs to the school", and was a method of learning taught by the academics (or school people) of medieval universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 c. 1100–1500. Scholasticism originally started to reconcile the philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 of the ancient classical philosophers with medieval Christian theology. Scholasticism is not a philosophy or theology in itself but a tool and method for learning which places emphasis on dialectical reasoning.

Christian civilization



Medieval conditions



The Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

, which was the most sophisticated culture during antiquity, suffered under muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 limiting its scientific prowess during the Medieval period. Christian Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 had suffered a catastrophic loss of knowledge following the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

. But thanks to the Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 scholars such as Aquinas and Buridan, the West carried on at least the spirit of scientific inquiry which would later lead to Europe's taking the lead in science during the Scientific Revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

 using translations of medieval works.

Medieval technology
Medieval technology
Medieval technology refers to the technology used in medieval Europe under Christian rule. After the Renaissance of the 12th century, medieval Europe saw a radical change in the rate of new inventions, innovations in the ways of managing traditional means of production, and economic growth...

 refers to the technology used in medieval Europe under Christian rule. After the Renaissance of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th century
The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots...

, medieval Europe saw a radical change in the rate of new inventions, innovations in the ways of managing traditional means of production, and economic growth. The period saw major technological
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 advances, including the adoption of gunpowder
Gunpowder
Gunpowder, also known since in the late 19th century as black powder, was the first chemical explosive and the only one known until the mid 1800s. It is a mixture of sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate - with the sulfur and charcoal acting as fuels, while the saltpeter works as an oxidizer...

 and the astrolabe
Astrolabe
An astrolabe is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers. Its many uses include locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, determining local time given local latitude and longitude, surveying, triangulation, and to...

, the invention of spectacles, and greatly improved water mills, building techniques, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 in general, clock
Clock
A clock is an instrument used to indicate, keep, and co-ordinate time. The word clock is derived ultimately from the Celtic words clagan and clocca meaning "bell". A silent instrument missing such a mechanism has traditionally been known as a timepiece...

s, and ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

s. The latter advances made possible the dawn of the Age of Exploration. The development of water mills was impressive, and extended from agriculture to sawmill
Sawmill
A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards.-Sawmill process:A sawmill's basic operation is much like those of hundreds of years ago; a log enters on one end and dimensional lumber exits on the other end....

s both for timber and stone, probably derived from Roman technology
Roman technology
Roman technology is the engineering practice which supported Roman civilization and made the expansion of Roman commerce and Roman military possible over nearly a thousand years....

. By the time of the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

, most large villages in Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 had mills. They also were widely used in mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, as described by Georg Agricola
Georg Agricola
Georgius Agricola was a German scholar and scientist. Known as "the father of mineralogy", he was born at Glauchau in Saxony. His real name was Georg Pawer; Agricola is the Latinised version of his name, Pawer meaning "farmer"...

 in De Re Metallica
De re metallica
De re metallica is a book cataloguing the state of the art of mining, refining, and smelting metals, published in 1556. The author was Georg Bauer, whose pen name was the Latinized Georgius Agricola...

 for raising ore from shafts, crushing ore, and even powering bellows
Bellows
A bellows is a device for delivering pressurized air in a controlled quantity to a controlled location.Basically, a bellows is a deformable container which has an outlet nozzle. When the volume of the bellows is decreased, the air escapes through the outlet...

.

Significant in this respect were advances within the fields of navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

. The compass
Compass
A compass is a navigational instrument that shows directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined...

 and astrolabe
Astrolabe
An astrolabe is an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers. Its many uses include locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, determining local time given local latitude and longitude, surveying, triangulation, and to...

 along with advances in shipbuilding, enabled the navigation of the World Oceans
Ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

 and thus domination of the worlds economic trade. Gutenberg’s printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

 made possible a dissemination of knowledge to a wider population, that would not only lead to a gradually more egalitarian society, but one more able to dominate other cultures, drawing from a vast reserve of knowledge and experience.

Renaissance innovations



During the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, great advances occurred in geography, astronomy, chemistry, physics, math, manufacturing, and engineering. The rediscovery of ancient scientific texts was accelerated after the Fall of Constantinople, and the invention of printing
Printing
Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

 which would democratize learning and allow a faster propagation of new ideas. Renaissance technology
Renaissance technology
Renaissance technology is the set of European artifacts and customs which span the Renaissance period, roughly the 14th through the 16th century. The era is marked by profound technical advancements such as the printing press, linear perspective in drawing, patent law, double shell domes and...

is the set of artifacts and customs, spanning roughly the 14th through the 16th century. The era is marked by such profound technical advancements like the printing press
Printing press
A printing press is a device for applying pressure to an inked surface resting upon a print medium , thereby transferring the ink...

, linear perspectivity
Perspective (graphical)
Perspective in the graphic arts, such as drawing, is an approximate representation, on a flat surface , of an image as it is seen by the eye...

, patent law, double shell domes
Santa Maria del Fiore
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi...

 or Bastion fortresses. Draw-books of the Renaissance artist-engineers such as Taccola
Taccola
Mariano di Jacopo detto il Taccola , called Taccola , was an Italian administrator, artist and engineer of the early Renaissance. Taccola is known for his technological treatises De ingeneis and De machinis, which feature annotated drawings of a wide array of innovative machines and devices...

 and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 give a deep insight into the mechanical technology then known and applied.

Renaissance science
History of science in the Renaissance
During the Renaissance, great advances occurred in geography, astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, manufacturing, and engineering. The rediscovery of ancient scientific texts was accelerated after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the invention of printing which would democratize...

 spawned the Scientific Revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

; science and technology began a cycle of mutual advancement. The Scientific Renaissance was the early phase of the Scientific Revolution. In the two-phase model of early modern science: a Scientific Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, focused on the restoration of the natural knowledge of the ancients; and a Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, when scientists shifted from recovery to innovation.

Geographic spread


Christianity is the predominant religion in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

, Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Eastern Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

, Central Africa
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

 and East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

. There are also large Christian communities in other parts of the world, such as Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, where Christianity is the second-largest religion after Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is the largest Christian country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

 in the world by population, followed by Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

.

Many Christians not only live under, but also have an official status in, a state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

 of the following nations: Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

), Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 (Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

), Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

 (Roman Catholic Church), Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

 (Roman Catholic Church), Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 (Danish National Church), El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

 (Roman Catholic Church), England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 (Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

), Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (Church of Greece
Church of Greece
The Church of Greece , part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the autocephalous churches which make up the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

), Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 (Church of Iceland
Church of Iceland
The National Church of Iceland, or Þjóðkirkjan, formally called the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, is the state church in Iceland. Like the established churches in the other Nordic countries, the National Church of Iceland professes the Lutheran branch of Christianity. Its head is the...

), Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

 (Roman Catholic Church), Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 (Roman Catholic Church), Monaco
Monaco
Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

 (Roman Catholic Church), Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 (Romanian Orthodox Church), Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 (Church of Norway
Church of Norway
The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

), Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 (Roman Catholic Church), Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 (Roman Catholic Church, Swiss Reformed Church
Swiss Reformed Church
The Reformed branch of Protestantism in Switzerland was started in Zürich by Huldrych Zwingli and spread within a few years to Basel , Bern , St...

 and Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland
Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland
The Christian Catholic Church of Switzerland is the Swiss member church of the Union of Utrecht, also known as Old Catholic Church, originally founded by the jansenists, with a later influx of discontented Catholics following their disappointment with the First Vatican Council. It has 14,000...

) and Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 (Georgian Orthodox Church).

Number of adherents



The estimated number of Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s in the world ranges from 1.5 billion to 3.0 billion people. Composed of around 34,000 different denominations, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 is the world's largest religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

. Christians have composed about 33 percent of the world's population
Population
A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area. The area that is used to define a sexual population is such that inter-breeding is possible between any pair within the area and more probable than cross-breeding with individuals...

 for around 100 years.

Notable Christian organizations


A religious order
Religious order
A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of initiates and, in some...

 is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. In contrast, the term Holy Orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to a group of individuals who are set apart for a special role or ministry. Historically, the word "order" designated an established civil body or corporation with a hierarchy, and ordinatio meant legal incorporation into an ordo. The word "holy" refers to the Church. In context, therefore, a holy order is set apart for ministry in the Church. Religious orders are composed of initiates (laity) and, in some traditions, ordained clergies.

Various organizations include:
  • Roman Catholic religious order
    Roman Catholic religious order
    Catholic religious orders are, historically, a category of Catholic religious institutes.Subcategories are canons regular ; monastics ; mendicants Catholic religious orders are, historically, a category of Catholic religious institutes.Subcategories are canons regular (canons and canonesses regular...

    s are the major form of consecrated life in the Roman Catholic Church. They are organisations of laity and/or clergy who live a common life following a religious rule under the leadership of a religious superior. (ed., see :Category:Roman Catholic orders and societies for a particular listing.)
  • Anglican religious order
    Anglican religious order
    Anglican religious orders are communities of laity and/or clergy in the Anglican Communion who live under a common rule of life. The members of religious orders take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and lead a common life of work and prayer...

    s are communities of laity and/or clergy in the Anglican churches who live under a common rule of life. (ed., see :Category:Anglican organizations for a particular listing)


Church and state framing



Within the framework of Christianity, there are at least three possible definitions for Church law. One is the Torah/Mosaic Law (from what Christians consider to be the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

) also called Divine Law
Divine law
Divine law is any law that in the opinion of believers, comes directly from the will of God . Like natural law it is independent of the will of man, who cannot change it. However it may be revealed or not, so it may change in human perception in time through new revelation...

 or Biblical law
Biblical law
Biblical law refers to the legal aspects of the Bible, the holy scriptures of Judaism and Christianity.-Judaism:* 613 Mitzvot, the 613 commandments contained in the Torah* Mitzvah, divine commandment, act of human kindness, a good deed...

. Another is the instructions of Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 in the Gospel
Gospel
A gospel is an account, often written, that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In a more general sense the term "gospel" may refer to the good news message of the New Testament. It is primarily used in reference to the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John...

 (sometimes referred to as the Law of Christ
The Law of Christ
"The law of Christ" is a biblical phrase of uncertain meaning, found only in the Apostle Paul's Epistle to the Galatians verse and parenthetically in 1 Corinthians of the New Testament....

 or the New Commandment or the New Covenant
New Covenant
The New Covenant is a concept originally derived from the Hebrew Bible. The term "New Covenant" is used in the Bible to refer to an epochal relationship of restoration and peace following a period of trial and judgment...

). A third is canon law
Canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...

 which is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, the Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 churches, and the Anglican Communion
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 of churches. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 varies widely among these three bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was initially a rule adopted by a council
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

 (From Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 kanon / κανών, Hebrew kaneh / קנה, for rule, standard, or measure); these canons formed the foundation of canon law.

Christian ethics
Christian ethics
The first recorded meeting on the topic of Christian ethics, after Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, Great Commandment, and Great Commission , was the Council of Jerusalem , which is seen by most Christians as agreement that the New Covenant either abrogated or set aside at least some of the Old...

 in general has tended to stress the need for grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

, mercy
Mercy
Mercy is broad term that refers to benevolence, forgiveness and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts.The concept of a "Merciful God" appears in various religions from Christianity to...

, and forgiveness
Forgiveness
Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of concluding resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all...

 because of human weakness and developed while Early Christians were subjects of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. From the time Nero blamed Christians for setting Rome ablaze (64 AD) until Galarius (311 AD), persecutions against Christians erupted periodically. Consequently, Early Christian ethics included discussions of how believers should relate to Roman authority and to the empire.

Under the Emperor Constantine I
Constantine I and Christianity
During the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine, also known as Constantine I, had a significant religious experience following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312...

 (312-337), Christianity became a legal religion. While some scholars debate whether Constantine's conversion to Christianity was authentic or simply matter of political expediency, Constantine's decree
Edict of Milan
The Edict of Milan was a letter signed by emperors Constantine I and Licinius that proclaimed religious toleration in the Roman Empire...

 made the empire safe for Christian practice and belief. Consequently, issues of Christian doctrine, ethics and church practice were debated openly, see for example the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in Bithynia by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325...

 and the First seven Ecumenical Councils
First seven Ecumenical Councils
In the history of Christianity, the first seven Ecumenical Councils, from the First Council of Nicaea to the Second Council of Nicaea , represent an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus and to establish a unified Christendom as the State church of the Roman Empire...

. By the time of Theodosius I
Theodosius I
Theodosius I , also known as Theodosius the Great, was Roman Emperor from 379 to 395. Theodosius was the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire. During his reign, the Goths secured control of Illyricum after the Gothic War, establishing their homeland...

 (379-395), Christianity had become the state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

 of the empire. With Christianity in power, ethical concerns broaden and included discussions of the proper role of the state.

Render unto Caesar… is the beginning of a phrase attributed to Jesus in the synoptic gospels which reads in full, "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s". This phrase has become a widely quoted summary of the relationship between Christianity and secular authority. The gospels say that when Jesus gave his response, his interrogators "marvelled, and left him, and went their way." Time has not resolved an ambiguity in this phrase, and people continue to interpret this passage to support various positions that are poles apart. The traditional division, carefully determined, in Christian thought is the state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 and church
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

 have separate spheres of influence
Sphere of influence
In the field of international relations, a sphere of influence is a spatial region or conceptual division over which a state or organization has significant cultural, economic, military or political influence....

.

Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 thoroughly discussed that human law is positive law
Positive law
Positive law is the term generally used to describe man-made laws which bestow specific privileges upon, or remove them from, an individual or group...

 which means that it is natural law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

 applied by governments to societies. All human laws were to be judged by their conformity to the natural law. An unjust law was in a sense no law at all. At this point, the natural law was not only used to pass judgment on the moral worth of various laws, but also to determine what the law said in the first place. This could result in some tension. Hardly a single portion of ethics does Aquinas present to us but is enriched with his keen philosophical commentaries. Late ecclesiastical writers followed in his footsteps.

Democratic ideology



Christian democracy
Christian Democracy
Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

 is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in 19th-century Europe, largely under the influence of Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching
Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrine developed by the Catholic Church on matters of poverty and wealth, economics, social organization and the role of the state...

. In a number of countries, the democracy's Christian ethos has been diluted by secularisation. In practice, Christian democracy is often considered conservative
Social conservatism
Social Conservatism is primarily a political, and usually morally influenced, ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. Social conservatism is a form of authoritarianism often associated with the position that the federal government should have a greater role...

 on cultural, social and moral issues and progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 on fiscal and economic issues. In places, where their opponents have traditionally been secularist socialists
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and social democrats
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

, Christian democratic parties are moderately conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

, whereas in other cultural and political environments they can lean to the left.

Women roles



Attitudes and beliefs about the roles and responsibilities of women in Christianity vary considerably today as they have throughout the last two millennia — evolving along with or counter to the societies in which Christians have lived. The Bible and Christianity historically have been interpreted as excluding women from church leadership and placing them in submissive roles in marriage. Male leadership has been assumed in the church and within marriage, society and government.

Some contemporary writers describe the role of women in the life of the church as having been downplayed, overlooked, or denied throughout much of Christian history. Paradigm shift
Paradigm shift
A Paradigm shift is, according to Thomas Kuhn in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions , a change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science...

s in gender roles in society and also many churches has inspired reevaluation by many Christians of some long-held attitudes to the contrary. Christian egalitarians
Christian Egalitarianism
Christian Egalitarianism , also known as biblical equality, is a Christian form of the moral doctrine of Egalitarianism. It holds that all human persons are created equally in God's sight—equal in fundamental worth and moral status...

 have increasingly argued for equal roles for men and women in marriage
Christian views of marriage
Christian views on marriage typically regard it as instituted and ordained by God for the lifelong relationship between one man as husband and one woman as wife, and is to be "held in honour among all...."...

, as well as for the ordination of women
Ordination of women
Ordination in general religious usage is the process by which a person is consecrated . The ordination of women is a regular practice among some major religious groups, as it was of several religions of antiquity...

 to the clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

. Contemporary conservatives meanwhile have reasserted what has been termed a "complementarian" position, promoting the traditional belief that the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 ordains different roles and responsibilities for women and men in the Church and family.

Major Christian denominations




A Christian denomination
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

 is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. Worldwide, Christians are divided, often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Various denominations, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, make particular distinctions in their literature. Technically, divisions between one group and another are defined by church doctrine
Ecclesiology
Today, ecclesiology usually refers to the theological study of the Christian church. However when the word was coined in the late 1830s, it was defined as the science of the building and decoration of churches and it is still, though rarely, used in this sense.In its theological sense, ecclesiology...

 and church authority. Centering on language of professed Christianity and true Christianity, issues that separate one group of followers of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 from another include:
  • Apostolic succession
    Apostolic Succession
    Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

    ,
  • Biblical authority
    Biblical authority
    The term biblical authority refers to the extent to which propositions within the Old and New Testament scriptures are authoritative over human belief and conduct, as well as the extent to which their propositions are accurate in matters of history and science...

    ,
  • Biblical criticism
    Biblical criticism
    Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of Biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." It asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work...

    ,
  • Biblical inerrancy
    Biblical inerrancy
    Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

    ,
  • Biblical infallibility
    Biblical infallibility
    Biblical infallibility is the belief that what the Bible says regarding matters of faith and Christian practice is wholly useful and true. It is the "belief that the Bible is completely trustworthy as a guide to salvation and the life of faith and will not fail to accomplish its purpose...

    ,
  • Biblical inspiration
    Biblical inspiration
    Biblical inspiration is the doctrine in Christian theology that the authors and editors of the Bible were led or influenced by God with the result that their writings many be designated in some sense the word of God.- Etymology :...

    ,
  • Biblical interpretation,
  • Papal primacy, and
  • Views of Jesus
    Christian views of Jesus
    Christian views of Jesus are based on the teachings and beliefs outlined in the Canonical gospels, New Testament letters, and the Christian creeds. These outline the key beliefs held by Christian about Jesus, including his divinity, humanity, and earthly life. Generally speaking, adhering to the...

     (Christology
    Christology
    Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

    ).


Christianity is composed of, but not limited to, five major branches of Churches: Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodoxy
Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

, Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, and Old Catholicism. Some listings include Anglicans among Protestants while others list the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox separately. The Assyrian Church of the East
Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East, officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ʻIttā Qaddishtā w-Shlikhāitā Qattoliqi d-Madnĕkhā d-Āturāyē), is a Syriac Church historically centered in Mesopotamia. It is one of the churches that claim continuity with the historical...

 (Nestorians) and the Old Catholic churches are also distinct Christian bodies of historic importance, but much smaller in adherents and geographic scope. Each of these five branches has important subdivisions. Because the Protestant subdivisions do not maintain a common theology or earthly leadership, they are far more distinct than the subdivisions of the other four groupings. Denomination typically refers to one of the many Christian groupings including each of the multitude of Protestant subdivisions.

Sizes of denomination


Catholicism is the largest denomination, comprising just over half of Christians worldwide.

In Christendom, the largest denominations are:
  1. Roman Catholicism – 1.2 billion
  2. Protestantism
    Protestantism
    Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

     – 540 million
  3. Eastern Orthodoxy
    Eastern Orthodox Church
    The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

     – 210 million
  4. Anglicanism
    Anglicanism
    Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

     – 115 million
  5. Oriental Orthodoxy
    Oriental Orthodoxy
    Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of those Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus. They rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon...

     – 75 million
  6. Nontrinitarianism
    Nontrinitarianism
    Nontrinitarianism includes all Christian belief systems that disagree with the doctrine of the Trinity, namely, the teaching that God is three distinct hypostases and yet co-eternal, co-equal, and indivisibly united in one essence or ousia...

     – 26 million
  7. Nestorianism
    Nestorianism
    Nestorianism is a Christological doctrine advanced by Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 428–431. The doctrine, which was informed by Nestorius's studies under Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch, emphasizes the disunion between the human and divine natures of Jesus...

     – 1 million
  8. Old Catholicism - .4 million

Christendom and other beliefs


In the interaction between Christendom and other belief systems, men and women when not at war with their neighbors have always made an effort to understand the Other
Other
The Other or Constitutive Other is a key concept in continental philosophy; it opposes the Same. The Other refers, or attempts to refer, to that which is Other than the initial concept being considered...

 (not least because understanding is a strategy for defense, but also because for as long as there is dialogue wars are delayed). Such interactions have led to various interfaith dialogue events. History records many examples of interfaith initiatives and dialogue throughout the ages. In the field of comparative religion
Comparative religion
Comparative religion is a field of religious studies that analyzes the similarities and differences of themes, myths, rituals and concepts among the world's religions...

, the interactions connects fundamental ideas in Christianity with similar ones in other religions. Christianity and other religions appear to share some elements. Regarding Christianity's relationship with other world beliefs, Christianity and other beliefs have differences and similarities in connection with each other.

Judaic world




Although Christianity and Judaism share historical roots, these two religions diverge in fundamental ways. Though Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 tradition emphasizes continuities and convergences between the two religions, there are many other areas in which the faiths diverge.

Muslim world


Christianity and Islam share their origins in the Abrahamic tradition, as well as Judaism. Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 accepts Jesus and his miracles and other aspects of Christianity as part of its faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 - with some differences in interpretation, and rejects other aspects.

Buddhist world




There has been much speculation regarding a possible connection between both the Buddha
Buddha
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

 and the Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

, and between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhism originated
History of Buddhism
The History of Buddhism spans the 6th century BCE to the present, starting with the birth of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama on the Indian subcontinent, in what is now Lumbini, Nepal. This makes it one of the oldest religions practiced today. The religion evolved as it spread from the northeastern region...

 in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 about 500 years before the Apostolic Age
Apostolic Age
The Apostolic Age of the history of Christianity is traditionally the period of the Twelve Apostles, dating from the Crucifixion of Jesus and the Great Commission in Jerusalem until the death of John the Apostle in Anatolia...

 and the origins of Christianity
Origins of Christianity
For centuries, the traditional understanding has been that Judaism came before Christianity and that Christianity separated from Judaism some time after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE....

.

Hindu world




The declaration Nostra Aetate
Nostra Aetate
Nostra Aetate is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. Passed by a vote of 2,221 to 88 of the assembled bishops, this declaration was promulgated on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI.The first draft, entitled "Decretum de...

 officially established inter-religious dialogue between Catholics and Hindus. It has promoted common values between religions. There are over 17.3 million Catholics in India, which represents less than 2% of the total population and is the largest Christian Church within India. However, the Holy See has expressed concern with regards to religious violence in the state of Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

, which is closely related to the ideology of Hindutva.

Secular world




Irreligion
Irreligion
Irreligion is defined as an absence of religion or an indifference towards religion. Sometimes it may also be defined more narrowly as hostility towards religion. When characterized as hostility to religion, it includes antitheism, anticlericalism and antireligion. When characterized as...

 is an absence of religion, indifference to religion, and/or hostility to religion. Secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

, in one sense, may assert the right to be free from religious rule and teachings and freedom from the imposition of religion upon the people. In its most prominent form, secularism is critical of religious orthodoxy and asserts that religion impedes human progress because of its focus on superstition
Superstition
Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any process in the physical world linking the two events....

 and dogma
Dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

 rather than on reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

 and the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

. Humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 refers to a philosophy centered on humankind. Much of Humanism's life stance upholds human reason, ethics, and justice, and rejects supernaturalism (Christian mythology
Christian mythology
Christian mythology is the body of myths associated with Christianity. In the study of mythology, the term "myth" refers to a traditional story, often one which is regarded as sacred and which explains how the world and its inhabitants came to have their present form.Classicist G.S. Kirk defines a...

).

See also


Main:Outline of Christianity
Outline of Christianity
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Christianity:Christianity – monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament...

, Christian Apologetics
Christian apologetics
Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections, and expose the perceived flaws of other world views...

, Criticism of Christianity
Criticism of Christianity
Throughout the history of Christianity, many have criticized Christianity, the church, and Christians themselves. Some criticism specifically addresses Christian beliefs, teachings and interpretation of scripture...


General: Ecumenism
Ecumenism
Ecumenism or oecumenism mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation. It is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice...

, Christianity and other religions, Christian Flag
Christian Flag
The Christian Flag is a flag designed in the early 20th century to represent all of Christianity and Christendom, and has been most popular among Christian churches in North America, Africa and Latin America. The flag has a white field, with a red Latin cross inside a blue canton. The shade of red...

, Crusade, Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected with the ministry of Jesus. Surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Jerusalem date from the 4th century, when pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers like Saint Jerome and established by Helena, the mother of...

, The Good News, The City of God
History: History of Christianity
History of Christianity
The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, its followers and the Church with its various denominations, from the first century to the present. Christianity was founded in the 1st century by the followers of Jesus of Nazareth who they believed to be the Christ or chosen one of God...

, Constantinian shift
Constantinian shift
Constantinian shift is a term used by Anabaptist and Post-Christendom theologians to describe the political and theological aspects of the 4th-century process of Constantine's legalization of Christianity. The term was popularized by the Mennonite theologian John H...

, Constantine I and Christianity
Constantine I and Christianity
During the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine, also known as Constantine I, had a significant religious experience following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312...


Roman Catholic Church: Papism, Church militant and church triumphant
Church militant and church triumphant
In Christian theology, the Christian Church, or Church Universal, is traditionally divided into:*the Church Militant , comprising Christians on earth who are living; christian militia, who struggle against sin, devil and "..the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in...

, Union of Christendom
Union of Christendom
The Union of Christendom is a traditional Catholic view of ecumenism. The view is that every Christian church is destined to return to the unity which it has broken. As the largest, most widespread and oldest Christian denomination, the Catholic Church saw itself as a trunk from which other...

, Catholic Church and ecumenism
Catholic Church and ecumenism
The Catholic Church has been heavily involved in the ecumenical movement since the Second Vatican Council .- Before the Second Vatican Council :...

, Political Catholicism
Political Catholicism
Political catholicism is a political and cultural conception which promotes the ideas and social teaching of the Catholic Church in public life...

, Interdict (Roman Catholic Church)
Interdict (Roman Catholic Church)
In Roman Catholic canon law, an interdict is an ecclesiastical censure that excludes from certain rites of the Church individuals or groups, who nonetheless do not cease to be members of the Church.-Distinctions in canon law:...


"Western" concepts: Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, Western nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...


Muslim world:Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, Ummah
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

, Mohammadan
Church and State: Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

, Caesaropapism
Caesaropapism
Caesaropapism is the idea of combining the power of secular government with, or making it superior to, the spiritual authority of the Church; especially concerning the connection of the Church with government. The term caesaropapism was coined by Max Weber, who defined it as follows: “a secular,...

, Ecumene, Dominionism
Dominionism
Dominionism is a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians that are believed to conspire and seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States, with the goal of either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation...

, Res publica christiana
Res publica christiana
Res publica christiana is a Latin phrase combining the idea of res publica + christiana to describe the worldwide community of Christianity and its well-being...


Other:Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 and 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...

 (Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

)