History of Religion

A-E   F-J   K-O
P-T   U-Z

My humble opinions are in RED type.

This is a glossary for many religions.

If you would like to see a term added, please email Rev. Su!!

Theology Concepts,
Vocabulary & Definitions
from Many Religions


in chronological order


Babylonian Captivity in Syria (597 BCE and 586 BCE)

Sabbath declared as Sunday by Emperor Constantine (321)

Council of Antioch (341)

First Council of Nicaea (325)

Council of Constantinople (381)

Second Council of Nicaea (787)

Constitutions of Clarendon (1164)

Inquisition, Spanish Inquisition (1232-1820)

Popes at Avignon (1309 to 1377)

Great Schism (1378-1417)

Council of Constance (1417)

Protestant Reformation (1517)

After over a century of division and disagreement within the Roman Catholic Church over its hierarchical and legalistic structure, including the Great Schism and the Concilar Movement, theologians and parishioners alike began to rise up against the, uh, excessive financial pursuits of the Papacy.

So Martin Luther's 95 issues he had with the RCC were not an attempt to create a new Church. They were in fact a proposal to strip away the worldliness and get back to the way the Church was, or should have been. He didn't like that rich people could pay to have their human sins forgiven instead of performing penance. He didn't like that the Eucharist was now a magical act called transubstantiation. He didn't think clerics had to be celibate (hey, for a few hundred years, married guys could become priests if they were Called to the vocation). He didn't like that Mass was held in a foreign language the parishioners could not understand. And he didn't think someone living in another country, i.e., the Pope in Rome, should have power over people and practices his neck of the woods, Germany.

Many local rulers agreed with Luther, perhaps for their own reasons (cha-ching!), and began to enact laws that forced local parishes and dioceses to be operated according to the new "Lutheran" principles. So did the kings of Denmark and Sweden.

The Swiss ended up establishing an elaborately organized theocracy with Calvin at the helm. His new version of the Protestant sect, which by its revolutionary nature also included political reformation, subsequently took root in West Germany, France, Holland and Scotland. This was called the Reformed Church to differentiate it from the Lutheran Church.

Henry VIII simply overthrew Papal authority in England by dissolving monastaries and extending the sovereignty of the central monarchical government to all areas, including religion, by forming the Church of England, the source of Anglicanism worldwide. Oh, and yes, that meant he could now divorce his barren wife and get another one.


Salem Witch Trials

Counter-Reformation (1520s-1648)

Council of Trent (1545)

Formalized the veneration of relics

Peace of Augsburg (1555)

Recognized the coexistence of Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism (but not Calvinism), and provided that each nation should follow the religion of their ruler

Gunpowder Plot (1605)

Toleration Act of 1689

Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753

Toleration Act of 1781


Councils of Baltimore (provincal 1829 to 1867, plenary 1852 to 1884)

First Vatican Council (1870)

The office of Pope was declared infallible in matters of

Second Vatican Council, Vatican II

Repeal of Anti-Witchcraft Laws in England (19??)


Sources:The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Religioustolerance.org