Antioch

Arius

ARIUS Arius was born in Libya. He studied theology in Antioch at the School of Lucian. He returned to Alexandria where he was ordained a deacon and then a priest. In 318, he started to preach his theological doctrine, which provoked many discussions. His main doctrine was that because the Son was the first creature …

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Catechumen

CATECHUMEN In the early church, a new Jewish or heathen convert undergoing a course of basic instruction and training in Christian doctrine and ritual, prior to BAPTISM and full incorporation into the body of the faithful. Just before His ascension, Christ had entrusted to the disciples the task of propagating His teachings among all nations …

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Cosmas Indicopleustes

COSMAS INDICOPLEUSTES The name given to an anonymous Nestorian author of the twelve-book Christian Topography, written a few years before the Second Council of CONSTANTINOPLE (553). Cosmas was an Egyptian merchant, probably from Alexandria, who plied his trade in Alexandria, the Red Sea port of Adulis (Sawakin), and Ceylon (Sri Lanka), calling at the island …

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Cycle

CYCLE One of a group of works in Coptic literature dealing with episodes in the life of one or more specific characters, mostly saints and martyrs. There are two basic types of cycle: homiletic and hagiographical. The difference lies simply in the different literary forms used, with the homiletic cycles being made up of texts …

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Cyprian The Magician

CYPRIAN THE MAGICIAN The legend of Cyprian the Magician (perhaps mid-fourth century with further development at a later period) tells how a young man in Antioch approaches Cyprian so that with magic he can win the love of the Christian virgin Justina. But all the magical arts are frustrated by prayer and by the sign …

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Cyriacus

CYRIACUS A Bishop of al-Bahnasa (Oxyrhynchus), assumed author of eight homilies. We have no historical evidence of either the existence of this person or the period in which he lived. On the latter, opinions greatly diverge: G. Graf (1944-1953, Vol. 1, p. 475) thinks that if one accepts what is said by the Ethiopian Book …

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Communion

COMMUNION The act of partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ. Communion is given many designations in the New Testament, such as “a new covenant” (Heb. 8:8-12), “eternal life” (Jn. 6:54), a “dwelling in Christ” (Jn. 5:56; 15:5-7), and a “sharing in the Body of Christ” (1 Cor. 10:16-17). In the early church, communion …

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Chorepiscopus

CHOREPISCOPUS An assistant to a bishop. The rapid diffusion of Christianity in the early centuries and the consequent increase in the number of churches and the duties of the diocesan bishops necessitated the appointment of assistants to these bishops, holding the title of chorepiscopus, to assume some of the pastoral duties in rural areas. In …

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