As Christianity developed into a world religion, it also developed a lot of special words. These Christian words describe the different people involved. They name the rituals that these people do. Other words describe the places where they work.
So what do all these special Christian words mean?
Some words refer to the people who work for Christian churches. There’s apostles, saints, popes, bishops, priests, monks, and nuns. Then there are also words that describe how those people look, like tonsured or stigmata.
And some Christian words explain the work that these people do. They baptize people, they celebrate Mass, they hear confessions, and they give people Communion. Or they help celebrate Christian events like Christmas, Mardi Gras, Lent, and Easter. Sometimes priests or bishops excommunicate people.
Other Christian words describe the places where Christian church people work. There are monasteries, abbeys, cloisters, cathedrals. Inside the cathedral, there’s a nave, a transept, a choir, maybe some misericordes. Outside, there’s flying buttresses, and bell towers.
There are special Christian words that describe Christian beliefs or symbols, like the chi-rho, and the Trinity, icons and iconoclasm.
And finally, there are many words that describe the ways Christians divide each other up and say “These Christians are not like me.” There’s the Montanists, the Arians, the Donatists, the Manichaeans, the Nestorians, the Albigensians. Catholic and Orthodox split from each other. More recently, there’s the Protestants, the Puritans, the Quakers, the Mormons, the Ghost Dancers, and many other groups.
More about Christianity
Bibliography and further reading about the history of Christianity:
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