denominations
   very early in the Reformation, the Protestant movement divided into several factions, each distinguished by a peculiarity of belief and/or practice. The different factions came to be denominated by labels, some self-chosen, others imposed by outsiders, mostly critics. There were the Lutherans (followers of Martin Luther), the Baptists (who demanded baptism by immersion limited to adults), the Methodists (named for John Wesley's methodical habits), and the Presbyterians (whose churches were led by presbyters or elders). The factions eventually congealed into the competing denominations.
   The fracturing of the Protestant community into ever more denominations, many formed for what some considered frivolous and ephemeral reasons, provoked a variety of reactions in the 19th century. There were attempts, for example, to call the movement back to a predenominational state by dropping all peculiar names in favor of biblical names - Church of God or Church of Christ. Toward the end of the century, the Ecumenical movement began to call for a resolution of denominational differences and a merger of Protestant bodies. They were inspired by the missionary experience, where denominational differences originating in Europe and North America seemed far less important.
   In the last half of the 20th century, many newer Christian fellowships began to describe themselves as interdenominational, nondenomi-national, or even postdenominational. At times, the use of such designations papered over what were in effect new denomination traditions, especially the Pentecostal/Charismatic denominational family, which includes many "nonde-nominational" churches. Each of these churches must still decide how to organize (polity), how to observe sacraments and ordinances, and how to respond to theological issues from the Trinitarian nature of God to the nature of salvation in christ.
   At the height of the Ecumenical movement in the middle of the 20th century, obituaries were written on denominational life. However, denominations have shown a remarkable resiliency and continue as the vital center of the protestant community as the 21st century begins.
   Further reading:
   ■ Samuel G. Dawson, Fellowship: With God and His People: The Way of Christ Without Denominationalism (Amarillo, Tex.: Gospel Themes Press, 1988)
   ■ H. Richard Niebuhr, Social Sources of Denominationalism (New York: Henry Holt, 1929)
   ■ Russell E. Ritchie and Robert B. Mullin, eds., Reimagining Denominationalism: Interpretive Essays (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • denominations — de·nom·i·na·tion || dɪ‚nÉ’mɪ neɪʃn n. name (particularly of a class of things); kind, class; religious sect …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Dénominations religieuses — Dénomination religieuse Une dénomination religieuse est la traduction littérale du terme anglais Religious denomination. Cette expression décrit en anglais un sous groupe à l intérieur d une religion qui opère sous un nom, une tradition, et une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dénominations des vaisseaux de Star Trek — Dénomination des vaisseaux de Star Trek La dénomination des vaisseaux de Starfleet est construite sur le modèle suivant : [Entité politique] [nom du vaisseau] [Code type du vaisseau] [Numéro de série]. Exemple : USS Enterprise NCC 1701… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dénominations des vaisseaux de Star Trek (Star Trek) — Dénomination des vaisseaux de Star Trek La dénomination des vaisseaux de Starfleet est construite sur le modèle suivant : [Entité politique] [nom du vaisseau] [Code type du vaisseau] [Numéro de série]. Exemple : USS Enterprise NCC 1701… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of Christian denominations — (or Denominations self identified as Christian) ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships. (See also: Christianity; Christian denominations; List of Christian denominations by number of members). Also, some groups included do not consider …   Wikipedia

  • Large denominations of United States currency — The base currency of the United States is the U.S. dollar, and is printed on bills in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. At one time, however, it also included five larger denominations. High denomination currency was prevalent …   Wikipedia

  • Hindu denominations — An article related to Hinduism …   Wikipedia

  • Obsolete denominations of United States currency — The United States has produced several coins and banknotes of its dollar which no longer circulate or have been disused. Some, like the half cent coin were removed due to inflation reducing their value while others such as the two cent and twenty …   Wikipedia

  • Religious denominations in Poland — The constitution of Poland provides for freedom of religion, and the Polish government generally respects this right in practice. The Polish Constitution and religion Chapter 2, Article 53: 1. Freedom of faith and religion shall be ensured to… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Christian denominations by number of members — This is a list of Christian denominations by number of members. According to the Status of Global Mission, 2008 of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (its main campus is located in South Hamilton, MA), the number of christian denominations is… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”