Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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Subject: Religious Studies

Editors: Erwin Fahlbusch, Jan Milič Lochman, John Mbiti, Jaroslav Pelikan and Lukas Vischer

The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online describes modern-day Christian beliefs and communities in the context of 2000 years of apostolic tradition and Christian history. Based on the third, revised edition of the critically acclaimed German work Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon. The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online includes all 5 volumes of the print edition of 1999-2008 which has become a standard reference work for the study of Christianity past and present. Comprehensive, reflecting the highest standards in scholarship yet intended for a wide range of readers, the The Encyclopedia of Christianity Online also looks outward beyond Christianity, considering other world religions and philosophies as it paints the overall religious and socio-cultural picture in which the Christianity finds itself.

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Cabala

(842 words)

Author(s): Dan, Joseph
1. Term Cabala (also spelled cabbala, cabbalah, kabala, kabbala, and kabbalah) means “tradition”—more specifically, “esoteric, mystical tradition.” It is the common name for the most important school of Jewish mysticism, which flourished from the late 12th century to the 19th, mainly in Christian Europe and the Middle East. The early cabalists in medieval Europe relied on ancient Jewish (Judaism) mystical traditions known as Hekhalot (heavenly palaces) and Merkabah (chariot) mysticism and on the traditions of the ancient cosmological work Sefer Yetzirah (Book of creation). T…

Caesaropapism

(6 words)

See Empire and Papacy

Calendar

(5 words)

See Church Year

Calvinism

(2,276 words)

Author(s): Heron, Alasdair I. C.
1. Term Calvinism is not to be equated either with John Calvin’s theology or with that of the Reformed churches in general, though the latter are especially influenced by it. In the narrower sense the term denotes the main forms of classic Calvinism as they arose in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the broader sense it stands for the outworking of Calvinistic impulses that, in spite of many changes, may still be detected in the Reformed tradition and in other communions like the Anglican, in the Me…

Calvin, John

(1,439 words)

Author(s): Kaufmann, Thomas
Born July 10, 1509, at Noyon in northern France, John Calvin became one of the most influential of the second generation of Reformers. His work was of significance throughout Europe and beyond. His theological development, confessional importance, ecclesiastical consolidation, and international training of reformers were lasting impulses throughout his life and for ages to come. The son of a notary in the bishop’s secretarial service who was excommunicated for financial conflicts with the church in 1528, Calvin was at first destined for a career in …

Calvin’s Theology

(4,064 words)

Author(s): Neuser, Wilhelm H.
1. The Institutes John Calvin’s main work, Institutio Christianae religionis, ultimately appearing in English as Institutes of the Christian Religion, is the most significant dogmatics of the Reformation period. It is more systematic and comprehensive than either the Loci (1521ff.) of P. Melanchthon (1497–1560) or the True and False Religion (1525) of U. Zwingli (1484–1531; Zwingli’s Theology). It was intended as “a necessary aid to study” (1539 preface), as “a key and door” to Holy Scripture (1541 preface). 1.1. 1536 Edition In 1536, at the age of 27, Calvin gained sudden f…

Cambodia

(1,081 words)

Author(s): Gern, Wolfgang
1. General Cambodia, formerly known as the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, is located in Southeast Asia, on the Indochina Peninsula. Some 85 percent of its population are Theravada Buddhists. Ethnically, approximately 85 percent of the people are Khmer, 6–10 percent are Vietnamese, 3 percent Chinese, 2 percent Cham, plus much smaller percentages of several other groups. 2. Missionary History 2.1. The Roman Catholic mission was initiated from Malacca in 1555 by the Dominicans Gaspar da Cruz (d. 1570) and Sylvester Azevedo (d. 1576). Only in the 17th century, however, were m…

Cameroon

(1,675 words)

Author(s): Dah, Jonas N.
1. General Situation Cameroon is at the crossroads of Central and West Africa. Historically it has experienced the rule of Germans (Kamerun), French (Cameroun), and British (Cameroon). It took its name from the 15th-century Portuguese naming of the mouth of the Wouri River in Duala as Rio dos Camerões (Shrimp River). Cameroon is an ethnic and linguistic hodgepodge, with more than 100 different ethnic groups (some would distinguish 500 separate groups) speaking a total of over 250 languages. The lar…

Campus Crusade for Christ

(10 words)

See Student Work; Youth Work

Canada

(2,477 words)

Author(s): Grant, John Webster
1. Christian Churches 1.1. The Roman Catholic Church (over 12 million adherents in 1994) is almost equally divided ¶ between Canada’s two chief linguistic components. Roughly 6 million, mainly in the province of Quebec, descend from French settlers who were already in what is now Canada before cessions to Britain in 1713 and 1763. In English-speaking areas the Irish have traditionally been the dominant group, but the tendency of immigrants from Italy, Poland, Portugal, and the Philippines to choose English as thei…

Cannibalism

(266 words)

Author(s): Greschat, Hans-Jürgen
When he was in Cuba, Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) heard of some “Canibales” (cf. Lat. canis, “dog”) who ate human flesh. In fact these were Caribs (Columbus mistook the r for n), ancient inhabitants of the Caribbean, but “cannibalism” became the common term for eating human flesh. Cannibalism was common in primitive times, and it has occurred in tribal cultures, in World War II prison camps, and in many places where victors have triumphantly eaten the livers of their enemies in front of clicking cameras. Friends as well as foes have b…

Canon

(3,641 words)

Author(s): Smend, Rudolf | Merk, Otto | Heron, Alasdair I. C.
1. The OT Canon 1.1. Presuppositions and Preparatory Stages Long before the OT writings became canonical in any strict sense (measuring up to a kanōn, i.e., a standard or rule), many of them claimed and received an authority that was already related to canonicity and that logically prepared the way for it. Priests, prophets, and wise men spoke with great, if not final, authority. Many of their sayings were remembered and gave instruction and direction to later generations, even if in changed or supplemented form. The …

Canonical Hours

(6 words)

See Hours, Canonical

Canon Law

(794 words)

Author(s): Heinemann, Heribert
1. The term “canon law” refers to the study of church law (“canon” is a ruling by the church). It is a theological discipline using the methods of jurisprudence to ensure the orderly life of the church as an institution based on the will of Jesus Christ. It has the task of inquiring critically into prevailing church law (Codex Iuris Canonici [CIC]), analyzing and presenting the meaning and purpose of the statutes, warning against potentially harmful directions, and promoting legal development (Law). It has a dogmatic branch (the exposition of existing la…

Canon Law, Code of

(9 words)

See Codex Iuris Canonici

Canon Law, Corpus of

(9 words)

See Corpus Iuris Canonici

Cantata

(189 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Christoph
The cantata (It. cantata, choral piece with several movements, as distinct from the purely instrumental sonata), which was developed in Italy in the 17th century, involves an alternation of arias and recitatives. It achieved central importance in Protestant church music in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in combination with biblical passages and hymns (also songs), though after 1700 increasingly with free texts as well. As an exposition of texts with musical figures, symbols, impressions, and stimuli, the cantata has a place in worship alongside prea…

Canticle

(333 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Christoph
In ancient tragedy the canticum was a monologue with flute accompaniment. In later Latin, canticum became a general term for a song. In the church the term at first came into use for very different kinds of songs, but later it was limited to OT and NT canticles used for the most part in the hours of prayer. In particular, three NT canticles came into liturgical use: the Magnificat, or Song of Mary (Luke 1:46–55); the Benedictus, or Song of Zacharias (Luke 1:68–79); and the Nunc Dimittis, or Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29–32). From the early days of the monastic hours of prayer in the fourth …

Canticles

(6 words)

See Song of Solomon

Cantor

(5 words)

See Church Musicians
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