An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

A - Z Glossary

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A style of piety associated with the eastern church and ascribed to the monks of Mt. Athos in the fourteenth century. The word means "quiet." The monks of Mt. Athos developed a method of prayer and contemplation which included a continuous repetition of the "Jesus Prayer" while controlling the... Read More »

(July 30, 1908-Mar. 20, 1966). Leader in the post-World War II development of Christian education in the Episcopal Church. He was born in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and received his B.A. from St. Stephen's College (Bard) in 1929 and his B.D. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 1931... Read More »

(Apr. 14, 1904-Dec. 28, 1992). Bishop and ecumenist. He was born in London, England. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1928 and Western Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1931. He was ordained deacon on May 1, 1931, and priest on Nov. 1, 1931. Higgins served parishes in Nevada, Illinois, and... Read More »

The main altar for eucharistic celebration in a church. In medieval and gothic revival churches, the high altar stands centered, near or placed against the east wall. The high altar is typically on a platform some steps higher than the rest of the church. This position of prominence distinguishes... Read More »

" The term generally indicates a high church Anglican or Episcopalian who precedes or is not strongly influenced by the Oxford Movement, especially the advanced catholic ritual practices that came to be associated with the Oxford Movement. In this case, a "high" theology of the church is associated... Read More »

The terms "high church" and "high churchman" began to appear in the late seventeenth century to describe those who opposed the Calvinist-Puritan wing of the Church of England. In colonial America a high church party emerged in Connecticut when four Congregationalist ministers decided their... Read More »

This is a term used, mostly in Anglo-catholic parishes, to describe a celebration of the eucharist characterized by multiple ministers (a priest- or bishop-celebrant, deacon, "subdeacon," acolytes, choir, and possibly others) and a rich ceremonial (incense, candles, processions, stylized movements... Read More »

This method of scriptural interpretation was considered a step beyond text criticism (lower criticism) because it was dealing with larger historical problems. Source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, and narrative criticism are the most widely used "higher" methods. All these methods... Read More »

(c. 315-c. 367). Bishop and theologian. He was born in Poitiers, Gaul (France). Around 353 he was consecrated Bishop of Poitiers and spent most of his episcopal life fighting the Arians and defending the great Nicene theologian, Athanasius. Hilary also promoted the work of Martin of Tours, who... Read More »

(c. 614-Nov. 17, 680). Abbess and saint. She was baptized at Easter 627 by Paulinus, Bishop of York. When she was thirty-three she entered the monastic life, and Bishop Aidan placed her in a small monastery in East Anglia. After about a year she became the abbess at Hartlepool. In 657 Hilda founded... Read More »

(1098-1179). Abbess, mystic, scholar, composer, scientist, and physician. She was born in the Rhineland Valley of Germany and raised by the anchoress Jutta in a cottage near the Benedictine monastery of Disibodenberg. Hildegard experienced spiritual visions from early childhood. Other women came to... Read More »

(July 10, 1799-Aug. 5, 1884). Episcopal missionary and pioneer woman educator. She was born Francis Maria Mulligan in New York City. She married John Henry Hill, a banker and graduate of Columbia College, on Apr. 26, 1821. He then attended the Virginia Theological Seminary. On Oct. 1, 1830, after... Read More »

(Sept. 11, 1791-July 1, 1882). Foreign missionary and educator. He was born in New York City. Hill graduated from Columbia College when he was sixteen and entered the mercantile business. He then studied at the Virginia Theological Seminary. Hill was ordained deacon on May 23, 1830, and priest on... Read More »

Hines, John Elbridge (Oct. 3, 1910-July 19, 1997). Twenty-second Presiding Bishop. He was born in Seneca, South Carolina. Hines received his B.A. from the University of the South in 1930 and his B.D. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1933. He was ordained deacon on Aug. 31, 1933, and priest... Read More »

(1839-Mar. 24, 1890). Missionary to the Dakota Indians. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and orphaned at an early age. Hinman studied at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut and graduated from the Seabury Divinity School in 1860. He was ordained deacon on Sept. 20, 1860, and priest on Mar. 8,... Read More »

(c. 170-c. 236). Theologian of the Roman Church, presbyter, antipope, and martyr. Hippolytus strongly resisted Popes Zephyrinus, Callistus, Urban, and Pontianus. Hippolytus was zealous for orthodoxy and a rigorist concerning penitential discipline. He wanted a church of the pure. He accused... Read More »

The succession of bishops in the history of the church from the apostles until the present. During the colonial period there were several efforts to bring the historic episcopate to America, but none succeeded. Samuel Seabury went to England in 1783 to receive the historic episcopate. It proved... Read More »

This term refers to the kind of scriptural interpretation which developed after the study of the texts or manuscripts of these writings. It is clear that we do not have any of the original documents, merely copies of copies. Because questions were raised about their validity, scholars began to... Read More »

This is a collection of five documents in the 1979 BCP (pp. 863-878), the first Prayer Book to have and use the title Historical Documents. The five documents are the "Definition of the Union of the Divine and Human Natures in the Person of Christ," which was adopted by the Council of Chalcedon in... Read More »

Predecessor to Anglican and Episcopal History. This journal began publication in Mar. 1932, and for years carried the statement, "Published With The Approval Of A Joint Committee Of The General Convention And Under The Auspices Of The Church Historical Society." The last issue with this title was... Read More »

The study of theology in light of historical periods, movements, events, trends, or figures. For example, Arthur Michael Ramsey's An Era in Anglican Theology, From Gore to Temple, The Development of Anglican Theology between Lux Mundi and the Second World War, 1889-1939 (1960) is a work of... Read More »

The General Convention of 1838 established this office. The historiographer collects documents related to the Episcopal Church and sees that they are transmitted to the Archives of the Church in Austin, Texas. The historiographers of the church have included Samuel Farmar Jarvis (1838-1851),... Read More »

Discipline which deals with the methods of writing history and with the techniques of historical investigation. Historiography seeks to reconstruct an accurate record of human activities and to achieve a deeper understanding of them. Until the nineteenth century, the interpretation of human life as... Read More »

" An arrangement of church interiors that was favored in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by John Henry Hobart, Assistant Bishop of New York, 1811-1816, and diocesan bishop, 1816-1830, and others of pre-Oxford Movement high church principles. The design called for the pulpit to be... Read More »

Hobart College, first called Geneva College, grew out of the Geneva Academy which was in operation prior to 1800. The Rt. Rev. John Henry Hobart, third Bishop of New York, was the primary founder. A provisional charter was granted on Apr. 10, 1822, and the school's existence dates from that... Read More »

(Sept. 14, 1775-Sept. 12, 1830). Bishop, high church leader, and author. His famous phrase describing his position was "Evangelical Truth and Apostolic Order." He was born in Philadelphia. He studied two years at the College of Philadelphia before transferring to the College of New Jersey,... Read More »

(May 16, 1891-Feb. 9, 1983). Bishop and publisher. He was born in Denver, Colorado. Hobson graduated from Yale University in 1914. After two years in the Army, he graduated from the Episcopal Theological School in 1920. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 5, 1919, and priest on June 15, 1920. He was... Read More »

(Oct. 6, 1856-May 27, 1919). A leading proponent of the opportunities for ministry in urban churches. He was born in Rome, New York. Hodges graduated from Hamilton College in 1877. He began his theological studies at St. Andrew's Divinity School, Syracuse, New York. He transferred to the... Read More »

A seminary to train "colored men for the work of the ministry." On July 15, 1889, Bishop Charles Todd Quintard of Tennessee laid the cornerstone for Hoffman Hall on land adjoining Fisk University. The building was named for the Rev. Dr. Charles Frederick Hoffman. He was a friend of Bishop Quintard... Read More »

(Dec. 15, 1819-Nov. 25, 1865). Missionary to Liberia. He was born in New York City and graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1848. He was ordained deacon on July 30, 1848, and priest on May 21, 1849. In 1849 he and a classmate, Jacob Rambo, sailed for Cape Palmas, Liberia. Under... Read More »

(Mar. 21, 1829-June 17, 1902). Third dean of the General Theological Seminary. He was born in New York City. Hoffman studied first at Rutgers College and then received his B.A. from Harvard College in 1848. He received his B.D. from the General Theological Seminary in 1851. Hoffman was ordained... Read More »

(Oct. 14, 1832-Mar. 23, 1855). One of the earliest Episcopal missionaries to Liberia. She was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Early in life she became interested in missions to foreign unbelievers. She was an evangelical. On Sept. 5, 1850, she married Cadwallader Colden Hoffman. They served at... Read More »

See Notes of the Church.

The name scholars have given to the collection of cultic and moral laws in Lv 17-26. It was apparently one of the sources used by the authors of the priestly source of the Pentateuch. It may have reached its final form in Jerusalem around 650 B.C. It is distinguished by the divine admonition: "You... Read More »

(Oct. 3, 1829-Mar. 13, 1911). Missionary to Haiti and first Bishop of Haiti. He was born in Washington, D.C. Holly was raised a Roman Catholic but became an Episcopalian. He was ordained deacon on June 17, 1855, and priest on Jan. 3, 1856. He then went to Haiti to establish the Episcopal Church... Read More »

(June 12, 1930-Aug. 6, 1981). Priest, seminary dean, teacher, and writer. He was born in Durham, North Carolina. Holmes received his B.A. in 1950 and his M.A. in 1954, both from the University of North Carolina. He received his M.Div. from the Philadelphia Divinity School in 1954. He was ordained... Read More »


Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.