Early Catholicism

'Early Catholicism' can also refer to...

Early Catholicism

Early Catholicism

Early Modern Catholicism

Early Modern Catholicism

The Emotions in Early-Modern Catholicism

Ecclesiology/Church–State Relationship in Early Modern Catholicism

robert s. miola (ed.). Early Modern Catholicism: An Anthology of Primary Sources.

Catholicism and Community in Early Modern England: Politics. Aristocratic Patronage and Religion. c. 1550–1640

Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism and Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism

Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism, and Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism. By Moshe Sluhovsky

Review: Early Modern Catholicism. Essays in Honour of John W. O'Malley, SJ

Early Modern Catholicism. An Anthology of Primary Sources. Edited by Robert S. Miola.

Introduction – college communities abroad: education, migration and Catholicism in early modern Europe

French Missionary Priests and Borderlands Catholicism in the Diocese of Bardstown during the Early Nineteenth Century

J. Michael Hayden. The Catholicisms of Coutances: Varieties of Religion in Early Modern France, 1350–1789.

Catholic Resistance in Elizabethan England: Robert Persons's Jesuit Polemic, 1580–1610Law and Conscience: Catholicism in Early Modern England, 1570–1625

“Not by Force or Violence”: Religious Violence, Anti-Catholicism, and Rights of Conscience in the Early National United States

Gender, Religion, and Early Modern Nationalism: Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and the Genesis of English Anti-Catholicism

John W. O'Malley. Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2000. Pp. 219. $24.95


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Term used by some NT scholars to define a development they perceive in Christian life and thought from expectation of an early end and judgement towards sacramental and continuing institutional norms. What happened in the Church after the death of the apostles? It would seem from the letters of Paul that organization was loose and that members of each Church were credited with different gifts, which they were expected to exercise (1 Cor. 12: 4–11), such as prophesying and healing. However, it is argued by some scholars especially in Germany that this early freedom was gradually transformed: teaching and sacramental ministry came to be concentrated in the hands of authorized ministers who derived their authority from predecessors; sacraments were increasingly emphasized as the means of sharing the life of Christ; justification by faith was replaced by an ethical system. ‘Early Catholicism’ on this view of the history of the Church therefore represents a stage of decline—when the Church was repudiating the simplicity and the expectations of the first generation and was approaching the legalism and hierarchical, institutionalized religion of the Middle Ages. Traces of this so‐called Early Catholicism are said to be discernible in the Acts (14: 23) and in the later epistles, such as the Pastoral Epistles, Ephesians, and 2 Peter. It is not long before Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107 ce) exhibits a passionate conviction that the good standing of each local Church is validated by its having its bishop.

It would be widely agreed that there is in the NT a diversity of forms of ministry and crystallization of faith into set forms. It is, however, unclear whether this ‘decline’ is evident even in the latest parts of the NT. Ephesians rings with a hope of the coming of the new age, and the list of ministries (Eph. 4: 10) are the gifts of the heavenly Christ. The Pastoral Epp. all await the Parousia. In the meanwhile the ascended Christ ensures the continuation of the apostolic ministry.

Subjects: Biblical Studies.

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