Christianism

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Not to be confused with Christianity.

Christianism had various definitions over the years. It was originally defined as "the Christian religion" or "the Christian world",[1] with cognates in languages like Spanish (cristianismo) or French (christianisme) retaining this meaning. In recent years, Christianism (or Christianist) has also been used as a descriptive term of Christian political conservatives mostly in the United States, for the ideology of the Christian right, meant as a counterpoint to "Islamism".[2][3] Writing in 2005, the New York Times language columnist William Safire attributed the term (in its modern usage) to blogger Andrew Sullivan, who wrote on June 1, 2003:[2]

I have a new term for those on the fringes of the religious right who have used the Gospels to perpetuate their own aspirations for power, control and oppression: Christianists. They are as anathema to true Christians as the Islamists are to true Islam.

The bloggers Tristero and David Neiwert used the term shortly after.[4][5] Sullivan later expanded on his usage of the term in a Time magazine column.[6] Uses of the term can be found dating back to the seventeenth century, but these are unrelated to its modern meaning.[2]

Christianism has started to gain a foothold in the United Kingdom too, according to one commentator.[7]

This word does not operate strictly within the etymology of the suffix "-ism" which means "doctrine, theory, system of principles" (the other meanings are not applicable to religions) whereas the suffix "-ity" means just "state, quality or condition". In other Latin-based languages such as Castilian, Catalonian, Galician, French, Occitanian, Italian, etc., the suffix "-ity" (-idad, -té, -ità) means Christians as a group, their geographical distribution even their cultural identity, what in English is called Christendom.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Christianism
  2. ^ a b c Safire, William (May 15, 2005). "Isms and Phobias". New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ Walker, Ruth (May 20, 2005). "Onward, Christianist soldiers?". Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts: The Christian Science Monitor). Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  4. ^ When Semantic Differences Are Not: Part Two Tristero, June 2, 2003, accessed January 31, 2010.
  5. ^ Neiwert, David (June 8, 2003). "How about Christianism?". Orcinus. 
  6. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (May 7, 2006)."My Problem with Christianism", Time, accessed January 31, 2010.
  7. ^ Brown, Andrew (February 22, 2012). "Catholic Church leader rejects claim UK Christians are persecuted". The Guardian.