schism


schism
schismless, adj.
/siz"euhm, skiz"-/, n.
1. division or disunion, esp. into mutually opposed parties.
2. the parties so formed.
3. Eccles.
a. a formal division within, or separation from, a church or religious body over some doctrinal difference.
b. the state of a sect or body formed by such division.
c. the offense of causing or seeking to cause such a division.
[1350-1400; < LL (Vulgate) sc(h)isma (s. sc(h)ismat-) < Gk, deriv. of schízein to split, with -ma (s. -mat-) n. suffix of result; r. ME (s)cisme, sisme < MF < LL, as above]

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(as used in expressions)
East West Schism
Schism Photian
Schism Western

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      in Christianity, a break in the unity of the church.

      In the early church, “schism” was used to describe those groups that broke with the church and established rival churches. The term originally referred to those divisions that were caused by disagreement over something other than basic doctrine. Thus, the schismatic group was not necessarily heretical. Eventually, however, the distinctions between schism and heresy gradually became less clear, and disruptions in the church caused by disagreements over doctrine as well as disruptions caused by other disagreements were eventually all referred to as schismatic.

      The most significant medieval schism was the East-West schism that divided Christendom into Western (Roman Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) branches. It began in 1054 because of various disputes and actions, and it has never been healed, although in 1965 Pope Paul VI and the ecumenical patriarch Athenagoras I abolished the mutual excommunications of 1054 of the pope and the patriarch of Constantinople (see 1054, Schism of). Another important medieval schism was the Western Schism (q.v.) between the rival popes of Rome and Avignon and, later, even a third pope. The greatest of the Christian schisms was that involving the Protestant Reformation and the division from Rome.

      Opinions concerning the nature and consequences of schism vary with the different conceptions of the nature of the church. According to Roman Catholic (Roman Catholicism) canon law, a schismatic is a baptized person who, though continuing to call himself a Christian, refuses submission to the pope or fellowship with members of the church. Other churches have similarly defined schism juridically in terms of separation from their own communion.

      In the 20th century the ecumenical movement (ecumenism) has worked for cooperation among and reunion of churches, and the greater cooperation between Roman Catholics and Protestants after the second Vatican Council (1962–65) has resulted in more flexible attitudes within the churches concerning the problems of schism.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Schism — • In the language of theology and canon law, the rupture of ecclesiastical union and unity Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Schism     Schism      …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Schism — Schism, n. [OE. scisme, OF. cisme, scisme, F. schisme, L. schisma, Gr. schi sma, fr. schi zein to split; akin to L. scindere, Skr. chid, and prob. to E. shed, v.t. (which see); cf. {Rescind}, {Schedule}, {Zest}.] Division or separation;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • schism — (n.) late 14c., scisme, dissention within the church, from O.Fr. cisme a cleft, split, from L.L. schisma, from Gk. skhisma (gen. skhismatos) division, cleft, from stem of skhizein to split (see SHED (Cf. shed) (v.)). Spelling restored 16c., but… …   Etymology dictionary

  • schism — I noun breach, break, cabal, desertion, difference, disassociation, disconnection, discord, dissension, dissent, disunion, division, faction, falling out, nonconformity, partition, recusancy, rent, rift, rupture, schisma, secession, sectarianism …   Law dictionary

  • schism — [ skızəm, sızəm ] noun count or uncount FORMAL an occasion when one group divides into two groups because of a disagreement: SPLIT …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • schism — split, rupture, *breach, break, rent, rift Analogous words: division, separation, severance (see corresponding verbs at SEPARATE): estrangement, alienation (see corresponding verbs at ESTRANGE): *discord, dissension …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • schism — meaning ‘the division of a group into opposing sections’, is now commonly heard as skizm in place of the older form sizm recognized by the OED (1910) …   Modern English usage

  • schism — [n] separation alienation, break, breakup, difference, disagreement, discord, dissension, disunion, division, divorce, faction, fissure, fracture, gap, parting, rift, rupture, secession, splinter group, split; concepts 135,195,297,388 …   New thesaurus


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