Western Christianity

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A rough depiction of Samuel P. Huntington's division of the world into civilizations, with Western Civilization in blue. His definition is apt because it does not include the Orthodox countries. For example, Greece is Orthodox, not Western.

Western Christianity is a term that refers to the forms of Christianity that arose within Western Civilization. Most of the denominations within it either hold (or have held) allegiance to the Roman Pope or were founded in opposition to his office. Its theology has been influenced by Latin-speaking theologians.

Denominations[edit | edit source]

  • Catholicism: Recognizes the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) as the head of the Church.
  • Protestantism: Denominations that separated from the Catholic Church starting in the 16th century as part of the Protestant Reformation movement.
  • Anglican Communion: Consists of churches that are in communion with the Church of England. The Church of England was previously part of the Catholic Church, but Henry VIII broke it away in 1534. It is sometimes considered to be Protestant, because this happened around the time of the Reformation, but others say that it isn't Protestant because the church body itself predates the Reformation. Anglicanism spread throughout the world by English settlers and missionaries. Anglicans (in some countries called Episcopalians) have separate churches for each country (like in Eastern Christianity), but they're (mostly) part of what is called the Anglican Communion.

Controversial groups[edit | edit source]

These groups are considered by some to be Christian, and they would fall within Western Christianity, but others consider them not to be Christian due to their rejection of the Trinity.

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. Followers are called Mormons. They believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate beings. They also believe in a Heavenly Mother.
  • Jehovah's Witnesses: It originated in the 1870s and adopted the name "Jehovah's witnesses" in 1931. They believe that the only God is Jehovah, that the "Holy Spirit" refers to the power of Jehovah, and that Jesus is a created being.[1]

References[edit | edit source]