Christian doctrines

Discerning the True Religion in Late Fourteenth-Century Egypt

Discerning the True Religion in Late Fourteenth-Century Egypt: Pages from the Dayr al-Muharraq Edition of al-Hawi by al-Makin Jirjis ibn al-‘Amid Introduction In recent years, Dayr al-Muharraq has shared some of its riches with the wider world through the publication of transcriptions of manuscripts from the monastery’s library. As examples, I can point to the …

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Confirmation

CONFIRMATION The sacrament by which the newly baptized receives the grace of the Holy Spirit. Confirmation is a complement to the sacrament of baptism. Despite being complementary to baptism and following immediately after it, confirmation must be regarded as a distinct sacrament, with its own rites and prayers. In view of its intrinsic qualities, confirmation …

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Celsus

CELSUS An anti-Christian writer and Platonist philosopher whose Alethes Logos (True Discourse), written about 178, is the oldest surviving literary attack on Christianity. All that is known of its author is contained in ORIGEN’s reply, the eight books of Contra Celsum, written in Caesarea (Palestine) about 248. Celsus was most probably a Syrian, for he …

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Copto-Arabic Literature

COPTO-ARABIC LITERATURE This entry consists of four parts. The first addresses the origins and development of the Arabic literature of the Copts. This is followed by introductions to three Copto-Arabic literary genres—hagiography, apocalyptic, and popular catechesis—for which texts are usually of anonymous authorship, and therefore unlikely to be otherwise addressed in a dictionary arranged largely …

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Hypostatic Union

HYPOSTATIC UNION The orthodox doctrine on the relation of the divine and human in Christ. Henosis kath’ hypostasin was the term used by Saint CYRIL I, patriarch of Alexandria in the fifth century, to make clear beyond all argument the complete unity of the Divine Word and the flesh in Christ. For Cyril the Word …

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Baptism

BAPTISM Origin, Features, and Administration of Baptism Baptism is the sacrament by which the recipient is regenerated through triple immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, enters into union with Christ and the body of the church, and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is …

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Penance

PENANCE The performance of specific expiatory acts assigned by a priest. The severity of a penance is proportional to the gravity of the sin committed. It is given as remedial discipline to the penitent for the purpose of healing his soul and helping him resist any relapse into similar kinds of wrongdoing at a later …

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