Religion offers a vast array of churches, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox being two prominent examples.
Both hold the Bible as their ultimate authority, yet they also acknowledge the centuries-old traditions passed down by church leaders. While they don’t claim it’s completely accurate, they do believe it to be highly authoritative and provide them with a basis for believing in God.
Orthodox Christianity is a Christian belief system that emphasizes theosis, or becoming like Christ. It places great emphasis on Jesus Christ, His life and teachings, as well as the church as an active community of believers.
Over the last century, Orthodox Christianity has seen tremendous expansion. Yet despite this rapid growth, only 12% of Christians worldwide identify as Orthodox.
Orthodox Christianity, unlike Protestants and Catholics who tend to be socially conservative, has remained relatively untouched by changes in society during this period.
In Russia, for instance, the state promotes “traditional values” which are highly sought-after among many Orthodox. Additionally, religious education in public schools has a profound impact on Russian identity; and the Orthodox Church plays an influential role within politics. Despite these measures, only 17 percent of Russia’s Orthodox say they want their church in communion with Roman Catholicism.
Catholicism is a religion that can trace its roots back to early Christianity and the first Christian communities. Its core belief is that the Holy Bible is God’s Word, revealed in two parts: the Old Testament and New Testament.
Its teachings and practice are founded upon this, as well as on the Sacred Tradition that was passed down through generations and forms an essential part of faith.
The Catholic Church is hierarchical in structure, with the Pope at the top and cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests at its base. In times past this had caused divisions within the Catholic Church but this was addressed by the Second Vatican Council.
The Pope is a spiritual leader known as the Vicar of Christ, holding an elevated position within Christian church hierarchy. He holds ultimate authority over church councils and serves as head and overseer for all Catholics.
Protestantism is a set of Christian faith beliefs that were formed out of Martin Luther’s protest against the doctrines and practices of Rome as he understood them in sixteenth-century Germany. It includes denominations like Baptist, Anglican or Episcopalian, Lutheran and Presbyterian.
The Protestant movement has a long-standing and influential branch of Christianity today. It symbolizes an effort on behalf of believers to take more ownership over their spiritual lives, turning directly to Scripture for guidance and instruction.
The Protestant faith holds that only Scripture can establish sound doctrine and proper Christian practice. Historically, it also stresses the importance of teachers, pastors, and other leaders who faithfully reflect Scripture’s teachings.
Theology is an expansive field of study that encompasses everything from divine beings to the history of religions. It’s taught in both religious and non-religious colleges, helping priests and ministers gain a better insight into their religions.
Religion can be a complex subject, but its influence over our daily lives makes it essential. Furthermore, understanding religion’s effect on society and how to relate to fellow humans are important insights for all of us.
Theology is an expansive field that encompasses many topics. As such, it can be challenging to gain a comprehensive grasp on its contents. The word “theology” derives from the Greek words theos (meaning god) and -logy (meaning word).