Creeds, Councils, and Canons

Everett Ferguson

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199271566
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Creeds, Councils, and Canons

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Creeds, councils, and canons are interrelated topics. Disputes over beliefs and practices prompted the meeting of church councils, which defined acceptable statements of belief (creeds) and drew up rules (canons) governing conduct, discipline, organization, and worship. The two most widely used and ecumenically acceptable creeds are also historically the most problematic: the Apostles' Creed in the western churches and the Nicene Creed, originating in the East and accepted in the West. The classic work of J. N. D. Kelly was the nodal point in twentieth-century study of the creeds. The second section of this article discusses the work of H. J. Sieben, local and regional councils, and ecumenical councils. The third section considers the contributions of Jean Gaudemet, other sources in the East, and the disciplinary work of the ecumenical councils.

Keywords: Apostles' Creed; Nicene Creed; Kelly; H. J. Sieben; Jean Gaudemet; ecumenical councils

Article.  8408 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Philosophy of Religion ; Religious Studies

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