Talk:Christendom

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Opening Comments[edit]

The concepts of "Christendom" being discussed on this page are two clearly different concepts - that of an historical polity and that of a contemporary sense of the spread of "Christianity". Might I suggest that it be broken into two separate pages and a disambiguation page be created? Since most links from other pages are in the context of the historical polity, perhaps this page ought to be named "Christendom" with the other pages named "Christendom (contemporary)"? -- Drasai 21 August 2012


Can someone help/explain to me how to clean up this vandalism? GarethChantler —Preceding undated comment was added at 12:37, 17 December 2008 (UTC).


"Christendom" isn't really congruent with "Christianity". It was a medieval concept meaning "The collective society of the portion of the world where Christianity holds sway". It's kind of like how "The First World" is used to refer to the grouping of the U.S., Western Europe, and so on.

I think there are salient things to say about it as a historical concept that don't fall under the purview of the Christianity entry. -- Paul Drye


I had a vague recollection that they might not be exactly synonymous, but I reckoned that putting up a redirect from the non-existant link I found would at least make someone who knew better react. That seems to have succeeded. Now, the question is why you put the explanation here and not on the main page? --Pinkunicorn


Because I'm one of the folks who disagrees with the "Write stub articles" rule. I would have to have something longer and better researched -- my current research consists of some dusty old neurons firing -- before I would put it anywhere but /Talk. -- Paul Drye


I'll do some more reaserch.

-Alex S


The word itself is also used to signify "living as christ" or "living as a christian".

Christianity is the whole of all organized systems and groups which claim to be Christian. They come and go though-out history. Christianity may even disappear someday. Any description of it needs to be historical and is dependent on the time when written.

Christendom is more the individual experience of being a christian and how this is reflected in his/her actions and has a more eternal nature to it: Walking The Way, believing The Truth and being in The Life so to say. Every christian needs to define this for themselves and any description here can be only very general: the life of Christ, the apostels, and maybe how the view on this changed with time?

Just an example: Christ forbid the usage of titles like Father (Mt 23). How can one reconcile this with the practice in most churches/groups? So there is a difference between Christendom and Christianity. Needless to say that there is a huge overlap in the two concepts, and it's hard to say which feature belongs to which without starting an edit-war between ideologies. -- 194.159.73.69 08:43, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Evangelical Christians define Christendom as using the Christianity of your definition, while reserving Christianity as the part of Christendom that acknowledges Jesus Christ is fully God and man, died and physically resurrected, and more importantly, all true Christians which is defined as those who have acknowledged Jesus died for their sins on their behalf and the resurrection points to overcoming the wages of sin, that they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour (i.e. the whole definition of what an evangelical Christian is).--JNZ 02:21, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

This article mistakenly states that Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire in 325 in the following paragraph: "The seeds of Christendom were laid in A.D. 306, when Emperor Constantine became co-ruler of the Roman Empire. In 312 he converted to Christianity, and in 325 Christianity became the official religion of the Empire."

In reality, 325 is the date for the council of Nicaea, and 392 is the appropriate date for the declaration of Christianity as the sole state religion of Rome, under Thodosius I. I am cautious about changing this, as I do not have an external source from which to back this, save the Wikepedia article on Christian Anarchism. Thebigcurve


I have gone ahead and made the appropriate changes to the Christendom page, due to the fact that there was no feedback in the last 5 days. Thebigcurve 17:28 EST 16 November 2005

References[edit]

I was surprised to see that the main article lacks a references section. Surely there must be a multitude of scholarly works which address the subject of "Christendom" from various viewpoints. DFH 18:05, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

I just tagged several lines in particular that need referencing. I also tagged the entire article for sourcing - there is no reference section at all at this point. The burden to provide sources falls on the primary editors who add the content. Please cite your work! Nswinton\talk 20:18, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Sentence needs clarification[edit]

"Sometimes the word Christendom refers to Catholic nations that include the Social Reign of Christ the King." -- What does this mean?

"Catholic nations that include the Social Reign of Christ the King." -- "Include" probably isn't the right word there, but I'd like to clearly understand the rest of the sentence before I do anything with it. Writtenonsand 20:16, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Holy Roman Empire = Christendom?[edit]

The "Christendom as a polity" section contains a lot of, at best, POV, and, at worst, untrue statements regarding the historical concept of Christendom.

Take the statement

Christendom was given a firmer meaning with the creation of Charlemagne's kingdom, the Christian Empire of the West.

This is ridiculous. Certainly the Roman Catholic Church has to some extent painted history this way but this has certainly never been the general view of the Christian community nor is it a scholarly view. Within the Roman Empire Christendom had been seen as the Roman Empire to a great degree. The Christian kingdoms outside of it were sometimes thought of as part of it but not necessarily. To say that Christendom gained a concrete meaning for the first time with Charlemagne is fabrication. What is true is that for a few centuries in between Roman Rule and Frankish (i.e. Holy Roman) rule Western Europe lacked a strong Christian state and so perceived Charlemagne as re-establishing Christendom in their world.

Regardless, though, the majority of Christians were outside of Charlemagne's empire at the time he was crowned so to argue that his empire was seen generally as "Christendom" is silly. In reality at that time if you took a survey of Christians around the world at that time and asked where the center of Christendom was the majority would have said Constantinople (including many Christians in the West). Obviously by the mid second millenium Constantinople's standing had deteriorated dramatically.

Regarding

Christendom as a cohesive political unit effectively ended with the Reformation.

how can you possibly say that. The Great Schism was a much bigger deal in the Christian world than the Protestant Reformation. And those two weren't the only significant schisms.

On what basis was this stuff written?

--Mcorazao 16:44, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I've tried to address some of the obvious problems but, frankly, this is not an area that I know a lot about. Since when was the Holy Roman Empire equated with being all of Christendom? I think it may have been envisioned (by some!) as the embodiment of the theocracy envisioned by the term Christendom but I doubt that those outside the HRE considered themselves to be outside of Christendom. I've tried to move the text in this direction but I'm not convinced that I've made it all the way there.
I also wonder about the East-West thing. I would imagine that even the West considered the East to be part of Christendom. After all, the Crusades were putatively about regaining the Holy Land for Christendom, right? Now, did the East have this concept of Christendom? Is there a Greek equivalent to the word?
--Richard 17:10, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, certainly there were mixed views at different times about what was truly Christendom and what was not. To a certain degree it would depend on whether you talked to the bishops or the emperors or the nobility.

The East had the same type of concept but I do not know enough about Greek to know what term existed or whether it was ever expressed with such a succint term. Remember, though, that Christendom is an English word that does not derive from Latin or Greek. So I am not clear that even in the West there was a term with precisely the same connotation (Corpus Christianus is not quite the same). Regardless, the Romans had essentially the same attitude about it before and after the fall of Rome (i.e. the Classical Roman Empire vs the Byzantines). The Roman Empire was the "real" Christendom but the kingdoms outside the empire that were in communion with the Roman Church (i.e. not "heretical") were part of greater Christendom. When the West fell the Easterners gradually looked at the Westerners as being on the fringe and so gradually considered them less and less part of "real" Christendom. Then when the Franks took over Rome their respect for them went down even more (reflected in the fact that, even today, Greeks sometimes call Roman Catholics Frangoi, Franks, implying that they are not real Christians). In general it was one of those things where, if it is discussing of Christians among Christians then it was "you guys are not real Christians." But if it was Christians talking about Muslims then suddenly they were all brothers in Christ.

Regardless, though, the point is that the view that HRE was uniquely Christendom was no more universal than the view that the Byzantine Empire was uniquely Christendom.

--Mcorazao 21:13, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

OK... so what do you think of the edits that I made to the article earlier today? Is it a step in the right direction? What do we need to do in order to improve it?

--Richard 22:29, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Rather than going back and forth on this discussion I just took a stab at editing the text. Feel free to modify as you like.

--Mcorazao 03:43, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

No, your edit looks fine. As I said, this is not an area in which I know a lot. I think it looks much better now than when we started. Are you satisfied or do you think more needs to be done?
--Richard 04:03, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The POV concerns are addressed for me. --Mcorazao 06:48, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Comment[edit]

The notion of Christendom probably begins with the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church of the Nicene Creed, which is possibly rooted in the Great Commission. I'm not sure if this is stated in the article or not. 75.14.223.27 19:33, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

Strike my previous commentary. I got my terminology confused. --Mcorazao 19:42, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

"Roman" aspect of Christendom[edit]

I don't have a lot of specific knowledge on this (i.e. I couldn't explicitly name an authoritative resource) but I'm curious if somebody out there has a good reference ...

There is an interesting aspect to how Christendom was thought of in most of the Christian realms historically. As Christianity developed in the Empire there was a separation created between "orthodox" Christianity and "heresy" (the original largest component of the heresy being Arianism which existed within the empire for a long time and dominated the German Christians for even longer). As Christianity grew in importance "orthodox Christianity" and "Romanity" came to be thought of as being two sides of the same coin. And as Roman high culture developed, orthodox Christianity, Romanity, and civilization came to be though of as one and the same (i.e. in contrast to the barbarian tribes some of which claimed to be Christian but were considered heretics). After the Western Empire declined the Western descendants of the Romans clung to the Church as their last remaining link to civilization (a.k.a Romanity a.k.a. Christianity; note that they distinguished between the orthodox Christianity of the Empire and the Arian Christianity of some of their conquerors). The Easterners contrasted themselves to the poor Western wretches who were now far away from Romanity/Christanity/civilization. Before and after the fall of Rome, some barbarian tribes, notably the Franks, converted to orthodox Christianity with the intent of becoming associated with this civilized identity. And, of course, when the Pope crowned Charlemagne the Franks enjoyed the (disputed) prestige of being called Romans/Christians/civilized people.

So there would be two points that might be interesting to bring out if someone has a good reference to base this on (i.e. my understanding is limited so I can't say that my facts are 100% correct).

  • Christendom can be seen as expressing a sociopolitical identity associated with Roman culture that was only loosely connected to religious ferver. Although no one in the Middle Ages would have ever said such a thing it is arguably not an incorrect perspective on history.
  • The concept of Christendom to some degree seems to have been used to distinguish between orthodoxy and non-orthodoxy.

--Mcorazao 19:42, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The notion that "Christian culture" is "Roman culture" is really a modern "romantic" notion. Europe declined in its Middle Ages, but the Byzantine Empire stood into the Western Renaissance. 75.15.198.35 (talk) 21:09, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Reference For This Article[edit]

The article on Christendom is lifted whole and uncredited from this, which is credited and signed:

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Corpus-christianum

Wp650385 23:09, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Looks more like it was the other way around, as the link cited above has features associated with a wikipedia article. 75.15.198.35 (talk) 21:03, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Help[edit]

Can anyone translate the writing on the t&o map at the top of the page???67.76.13.166 (talk) 21:27, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

It's Medieval Latin. Oriens is East, Occidens is West, Septentris is North, Meridies is South. Mare Oceanun is literally the "Sea of Ocean", the sea that surrounds the world. See Oceanus. We have the then known three land masses: Asia, Europa, and Africa. Europe and Africa are separated by the Mediterraneum, and Africa is south and Europe is north. What separates Africa and Europe from Asia to the East? Today one would say the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Aegean Sea, Turkish Straits, Black Sea, Kuma–Manych Depression, Caspian Sea, Emba River, and the Ural Mountains. The T&O map says "Mare magnum fiue"? Maremagnum is the Great Sea. Normally that would be the Atlantic, except the Atlantic is west of Europe and Africa. The map also has descriptors for the continents, looks like Sem, Cham, and Iafeth. Cham is Ham the son of Noah, see Hamitic. Iafeth is Japheth, see Japhetic. Sem is Shem, see Semitic. 75.15.198.35 (talk) 19:59, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Biblical Science[edit]

The Biblical Science section is not only partially incoherent, but hopelessly POV. I suggest it be deleted or completely revised. The tone is bizarre and inappropriate; it seems like a paean to theological modernism or something - heck if I can figure it out - but someone needs to take a look at it. I mean... "new race of Biblical scholars"? Seriously? And check out those footnotes... Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and delete this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by71.191.73.139 (talk) 03:50, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Do not remove referenced material. Thanks. --J. D. Redding 06:02, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Being referenced is hardly reason enough not to remove it - a statement over a century old about a 'new race of biblical scholars' is a bit of a clue that there's a problem. Dougweller (talk) 13:49, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. Per WP:NOT, "merely being true, or even verifiable, does not automatically make something suitable for inclusion in the encyclopedia." A century-old and long-discredited "theory" would certainly seem to come under that heading. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:17, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


I direct editors' attention to Andrew Dickson White#Conflict thesis, which concludes: "White's conflict thesis has, however, been discredited by contemporary historians of science." For this it cites:

Quotation: "The conflict thesis, at least in its simple form, is now widely perceived as a wholly inadequate intellectual framework within which to construct a sensible and realistic historiography of Western science". (p. 7), Colin A. Russell "The Conflict Thesis", Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction, Gary Ferngren, ed., Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8018-7038-0".

Quotation: "In the late Victorian period it was common to write about the ‘warfare between science and religion’ and to presume that the two bodies of culture must always have been in conflict. However, it is a very long time since these attitudes have been held by historians of science". (p. 195) Shapin, S. (1996). The Scientific Revolution. University of Chicago Press Chicago, Ill. 

Quotation: "In its traditional forms, the conflict thesis has been largely discredited." (p. 42) Brooke, J.H. (1991). Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. 

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:34, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree that this material has no place on the page until someone can find a current, mainstream source in support of it. Leadwind (talk) 16:08, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


Redding originally put it there. I don't understand why he is so fond of 19th and early 20th century sources. Dougweller (talk) 17:04, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Weller, It's called information from real scholars [why do you think alot of the old books are around?] not just 'popular scholars' [ala., Gould and Dawkins] ... and very little useful knowledge is new. But, have to know history to know that. And I improved the entire article.
As to this particular portion, it should be there ... but as to allowing info about religion and science in pertinent articles is removed by atheists and those that disapprove of religious information, only weaken Wikipedia. Sad really. J. D. Redding
in my considered opinion, the thing Reddi is fond of is really putting his tongue in cheek and exasperating Wikipedians with eccentric behaviour. Just my theory. --dab (𒁳) 18:42, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the personal attack .... --J. D. Redding 11:43, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

since we are here[edit]

...what is the scope of this article again? It looks like a random collection of assorted Christianity topics. Nothing that doesn't have its own obsessively detailed article already. I mean, "Christendom and other beliefs" is just a clone of Christianity and other religions, etc. What is this even doing here? The only thing that is on topic here is the "terminology" section, and possibly part of the "history" one. --dab (𒁳) 18:40, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Read WP:SUMMARY. --J. D. Redding 11:47, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Except we already have an appropriate, and far better sourced, 'summary' article -- Christianity, which this page was originally simply a redirect to. This appears to be a WP:CFORK. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:23, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I would tend to agree. My recommendation would be (i) eliminate the dodgy/unsourced material (ii) merge anything useful that remains that isn't duplicative to appropriate articles & then (iii) redirect to Christianity. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:47, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Along these lines, could somebody tell me why the passage on the fall of the Byzantine Empire is sourced to 'The Greek Testament with the Readings Adopted by the Revisers of the Authorized Version' published in 1881? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 03:39, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
This article should not be merged and redirected. Christendom is an ecclesiological viewpoint, which was a major part of the definition of the church in the middle ages.[2] The article could use a bit of work, and a lot cut out, but it should not be eliminated. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 16:07, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The OED certainly treats 'Christendom' and 'Christianity' mainly as close synonyms. One non-overlapping definition, which is the one that the Catholic Encyclopaedia article takes, of "the part of the world which is inhabited by Christians", appears to be already covered by History of Christianity, which covers the religion's geographic spread (and at times contraction) over time. I still see no room for a separate topic on 'Christendom'. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:23, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
While there is some overlap with the period, it is not the same thing. It was the dominant ecclesiological viewpoint of the period, regarding what they believed the church,church polity, and the church's relation to state governments should be. Christendom was a form Christianity took at a particular period of time, and some believe it should take again, but it is not the same as Christianity. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 17:33, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
WP:RS for this? Let alone the "significant coverage" necessary to sustain an article. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:48, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The previously-linked online version of the Catholic Encyclopedia (useful for Catholic theology) deals with some of this. I don't have some of my textbooks that went over this handy, but I can pull some stuff out when I have some time. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 18:20, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Flag section[edit]

Who exactly authorised the Prayer Foundation to speak for "all of Christendom"? This appears to be an obscure, self-published source, misrepresented to indicate that "all of Christendom" accepts and uses this flag. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:09, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it really has all that much to do with Christendom anyway. I would prefer the article focus more on Christendom in the middle ages. After that, it was more of a redefining of the term. I just haven't had a lot of extra time to work on it lately, and this article needs a lot of work. Sχeptomaniacχαιρετε 19:22, 20 April 2011 (UTC)

Palmer, 1881[edit]

  1. What the fracking hades does The Greek Testament with the Readings Adopted by the Revisers of the Authorized Version have to do with the Byzantine Empire in the 7th through 13th centuries. QUOTATION PLEASE!
  2. Why should we accept a 130yo source as still reliable, given all the advances in scholarship in this period? MODERN SOURCE PLEASE!

HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:22, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I haven't had time to look at it. But removed it entirely. Will look through it and see if it's applicable. --J. D. Redding 19:55, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

BTW, 130yo sources can be reliable. Learn the historical method. --J. D. Redding 19:55, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

They can be reliable, but why use them? They can also be extremely wrong. Hrafn is right. I have never understood your fondness for 19th century sources. Dougweller (talk) 20:34, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
One reason is that they are public domain [something that founded wikipedia]. --J. D. Redding 20:36, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
That's faulty logic. Wikipedia policy requires it to be public domain, it does not require it to restrict its cited sources to public domain, but rather requires it to restrict them to reliable sources. Oh, and I see you've added yet another century-old source to the article. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:55, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

I'll removing the hat-tag to the section here after a bit. The PD material can be reliable. And I don't just use PD material. Please don't edit to some point you are trying to prove. --J. D. Redding 07:03, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Brown (2003)[edit]

Brown (2003) p443:

  • Contains no mention of Pope Leo III
  • Contains no mention of the Byzantine Empire seeing themselves as the last bastion of Christendom.
  • Cannot be considered to state (without heavy WP:Synthesis) that the Carolingian Empire created an alternative definition of Christendom in contrast to the Byzantine Empire.
  • Makes no mention of feudalism.

It therefore does not support the paragraph cited to it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:50, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Wrong, states plainly that there is a distributed versus centralized Christendom culture respectively. --J. D. Redding 19:34, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

BTW, it has nothing to do with Leo or bastions ... are you going to tag every sentence in this article? Please don't ... --J. D. Redding 19:36, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


WP:Complete bollocks! At the time I tagged it, it stated:

As the Western Roman Empire disintegrated into feudal kingdoms and principalities, the concept of Christendom changed as the western church became independent of the Emperor and the Christians of the Eastern Roman Empire. The Byzantine Empire came to see themselves as the last bastion of Christendom. Christendom would take a turn with the rise of the Franks, a Germanic tribe who converted to the Christian faith and entered into communion with Rome. On Christmas Day 800 AD, Pope Leo III made the fateful decision to switch his allegiance from the emperors in Constantinople and crowned Charlemagne, the king of the Franks, as the Emperor of what came to be known as the Holy Roman Empire. The Carolingian Empire created a definition of Christendom in juxtaposition with the Byzantine Empire.

Prominent mention of Leo and bastions, no mention (at that time) of "distributed versus centralized Christendom culture respectively". I will note that you have since corrected my third point and added yet another antiquated and outdated source for the remaining material. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:48, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

But the source is NOT for the whole paragraph. It's for the sentence that it attached to. Idiocy.--J. D. Redding 07:00, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

The convention in Wikipedia is that citations are assumed to cover all material back to either (i) the last citation, (ii) the last tag or (iii) the start of the paragraph. The {{fact}}-tags were certainly given for the entire paragraphs, as the paragraphs were entirely unsourced. The alternative to these conventions is to have articles heavily citation-bombed and tag-bombed. If you meant that the citation was only for the last sentence, then you should have moved the {{fact}}-tag, not removed it. Have a WP:TROUT and try to avoid such "idiocy" in future. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:50, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Number of Christians[edit]

The source it doesn't say that the number of christians is 1.5 billion, There are many sources as CIA world facts. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html., and adherent's.come and http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/115240/Christianity (Encyclopedia Britannica) and the last study of pew report about christianity http://www.pewforum.org/Christian/Global-Christianity-exec.aspx, say that there are more than 2.18 billion Christians around the world, i think we have to change the numbers. Jobas (talk) 14:03, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Christian Majority Countries image[edit]

The file

Christian Majority Countries.PNG

includes Madagasgar and South Sudan, neither of which have a Christian majority. Prompt removal of these countries would be much appreciated. Thanks. --60.229.36.29 (talk) 12:10, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The image still deceptively includes South Sudan, a country without a Christian majority.--60.229.36.29 (talk) 10:22, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

The image also has its own talkpage. Nobody is even going to see your input if you place it on some random article talkpage. --dab (𒁳) 12:27, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

also, the source cited is this, which shows both Madagascar and South Sudan as having a Christian majority. --dab (𒁳) 06:56, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Tanzania has a majority Christian population as referenced on the Tanzania Wikipedia page. This image shows Tanzania as not having the majority.

First of all, in the image's talkpage it says "this is not a place to request for corrections, try the talk page of an article that the image is used in". Further, at least I believe Netherlands, Estonia, Czech Republic and Tanzania should all become purple. 117.0.224.235 (talk) 10:35, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Article scope[edit]

People who are active here need to take great care that this does not become another Christianity, history of Christianity or Christianity by country article. We already have those.

The term of "Christendom" has its limits of useful applicability, which is what makes any term meaningful in the first place. It is a bad idea to push these limits out of a misguided desire to {{globalize}}.

The precise limits need of course to be negotiated (based on academic sources), but the gist is that

  • there was no "Christendom" as opposed to "the Church" or "Christianity" prior to the 4th century.
  • during the 4th to 13th centuries, it makes sense to talk of "Christendom", but only in retrospect. During this time, the term did not exist, as it was clear that the notion "the worldwide Christian polity" already had a name, and that name was "the Roman Empire".
  • during the 14th to 17th centuries, the term did exist, and its application makes excellent sense
  • during the 18th to 20th centuries, the term becomes an anachronism, and increasingly falls out of use other than in a historical sense
  • it is not now a term that can be used to describe "the predominantly Christian countries". Such countries would now simply be described as, well, "predominantly Christian countries"

From this it follows that the entire sections on "Demographics" (i.e. "current") and "Major Christian denominations" and "Christendom and other beliefs" are misplaced on this page. --dab (𒁳) 12:24, 28 February 2013 (UTC)