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accommodation


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In theology, the adaptation of a text or teaching to altered circumstances. The word is used: (1) Especially by RCs to connote the giving to a text of Scripture a meaning not intended by the writer, e.g. the reference of Pharaoh's words ‘Go unto Joseph’ (Gen. 41: 55) to the Lord's foster father. (2) By 18th-cent. liberal German theologians to expound the mode of Divine communication through the Bible. Thus Christ's words or assumptions about the authorship of parts of the OT, or about the objective reality of demon-possession, are explained as the deliberate adjustment of His ideas to contemporary Judaism. (3) In a more general sense of the teaching by Christians of only part of the truth for the sake of prudence, or of the modification of the form of Christian teaching to secure its more ready acceptance. A notable instance of accommodation in this sense was the practice of Jesuit missionaries in China of using the word t‘ien for God and of allowing converts to continue in practices akin to ancestor-worship.

(1) Especially by RCs to connote the giving to a text of Scripture a meaning not intended by the writer, e.g. the reference of Pharaoh's words ‘Go unto Joseph’ (Gen. 41: 55) to the Lord's foster father. (2) By 18th-cent. liberal German theologians to expound the mode of Divine communication through the Bible. Thus Christ's words or assumptions about the authorship of parts of the OT, or about the objective reality of demon-possession, are explained as the deliberate adjustment of His ideas to contemporary Judaism. (3) In a more general sense of the teaching by Christians of only part of the truth for the sake of prudence, or of the modification of the form of Christian teaching to secure its more ready acceptance. A notable instance of accommodation in this sense was the practice of Jesuit missionaries in China of using the word t‘ien for God and of allowing converts to continue in practices akin to ancestor-worship.

Subjects: Christianity.


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