In modern English, the term cult has come to refer to a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study, it is considered pejorative. In the sociological classifications of religious movements, a cult is a social group with deviant or novel beliefs and practices, although this is unclear. Other researchers present a less-organized picture of cults, saying that they arise spontaneously around novel beliefs and practices. Groups said to be cults range in size from local groups with a few members to international organizations with millions. An older sense of the word cult—covered in a different article—is a set of religious devotional practices that are conventional within their culture and related to a particular figure, associated with a particular place.
References to the "cult" of, for example, a particular Catholic saint, or the imperial cult of ancient Rome, use this sense of the word. Beginning in the 1930s, cults became the object of sociological study in the context of the study of religious behavior. From the 1940s the Christian countercult movement has opposed some sects and new religious movements, it labelled them as cults for their "un-Christian" unorthodox beliefs; the secular anti-cult movement began in the 1970s and it opposed certain groups charging them with mind control and motivated in reaction to acts of violence committed by some of their members. Some of the claims and actions of the anti-cult movement have been disputed by scholars and by the news media, leading to further public controversy; the term "new religious movement" refers to religions. Many, but not all of them, have been considered to be cults. Sub-categories of cults include: Doomsday cults, personality cults, political cults, destructive cults, racist cults, polygamist cults, terrorist cults.
Various national governments have reacted to cult-related issues in different ways, this has sometimes led to controversy. English-speakers used the word "cult" not to describe a group of religionists, but to refer to the act of worship or to a religious ceremony; the English term originated in the early 17th century, borrowed via the French culte, from the Latin noun cultus. The word derived from the Latin adjective cultus, based on the verb colere. While the literal original sense of the word in English remains in use, a derived sense of "excessive devotion" arose in the 19th century; the terms cult and cultist came into use in medical literature in the United States in the 1930s for what would now be termed "faith healing" as practised in the US Holiness movement. This usage experienced a surge of popularity at the time, extended to other forms of alternative medicine as well. In the English-speaking world the word "cult" carries derogatory connotations, it has always been controversial because it is considered a subjective term, used as an ad hominem attack against groups with differing doctrines or practices.
In the 1970s, with the rise of secular anti-cult movements, scholars began abandoning the term "cult". According to The Oxford Handbook of Religious Movements, "by the end of the decade, the term'new religions' would replace'cult' to describe all of those leftover groups that did not fit under the label of church or sect."Sociologist Amy Ryan has argued for the need to differentiate those groups that may be dangerous from groups that are more benign. Ryan notes the sharp differences between definition from cult opponents, who tend to focus on negative characteristics, those of sociologists, who aim to create definitions that are value-free; the movements themselves may have different definitions of religion as well. George Chryssides cites a need to develop better definitions to allow for common ground in the debate. In Defining Religion in American Law, Bruce J. Casino presents the issue as crucial to international human rights laws. Limiting the definition of religion may interfere with freedom of religion, while too broad a definition may give some dangerous or abusive groups "a limitless excuse for avoiding all unwanted legal obligations".
Religion scholar Megan Goodwin defined the term cult when used by laymen as being a shorthand that means a "religion I don't like". A new religious movement is a religious community or spiritual group of modern origins, which has a peripheral place within its society's dominant religious culture. NRMs can be novel in origin or part of a wider religion, in which case they are distinct from pre-existing denominations. In 1999 Eileen Barker estimated that NRMs, of which some but not all have been labelled as cults, number in the tens of thousands worldwide, most of which originated in Asia or Africa. In 2007 the religious scholar Elijah Siegler commented that, although no NRM had become the dominant faith in any country, many of the concepts which they had first introduced have become part of worldwide mainstream culture. Sociologist Max Weber found that cults based on charismatic leadership follow the routinization of charisma; the concept of a "cult" as a sociological classification was introduced in 1932 by American sociologist Howard P. Becker as a
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Arès is a commune in the Gironde department in southwestern France. Communes of the Gironde department Pilgrims of Arès INSEE
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. It is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs. Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the place of birth or death of founders or saints, or to the place of their "calling" or spiritual awakening, or of their connection with the divine, to locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, or locations where a deity is said to live or be "housed", or any site, seen to have special spiritual powers; such sites may be commemorated with shrines or temples that devotees are encouraged to visit for their own spiritual benefit: to be healed or have questions answered or to achieve some other spiritual benefit. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim; as a common human experience, pilgrimage has been proposed as a Jungian archetype by Wallace Clift and Jean Dalby Clift.
The Holy Land acts as a focal point for the pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Islam. According to a Stockholm University study in 2011, these pilgrims visit the Holy Land to touch and see physical manifestations of their faith, confirm their beliefs in the holy context with collective excitation, connect to the Holy Land. Bahá'u'lláh decreed pilgrimage to two places in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas: the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad and the House of the Báb in Shiraz, Iran. `Abdu'l-Bahá designated the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahji, Israel as a site of pilgrimage. The designated sites for pilgrimage are not accessible to the majority of Bahá'ís, as they are in Iraq and Iran and thus when Bahá'ís refer to pilgrimage, it refers to a nine-day pilgrimage which consists of visiting the holy places at the Bahá'í World Centre in northwest Israel in Haifa and Bahjí. There are four places that Buddhists pilgrimage to: Lumbini: Buddha's birthplace Bodh Gaya: place of Enlightenment Sarnath: where he delivered his first teaching Kusinara: where he attained mahaparinirvana.
Other pilgrimage places in India and Nepal connected to the life of Gautama Buddha are: Savatthi, Nalanda, Vesali, Kapilavastu, Rajagaha. Other famous places for Buddhist pilgrimage include: India: Sanchi, Ajanta. Thailand: Sukhothai, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Doi Suthep. Tibet: Lhasa, Mount Kailash, Lake Nam-tso. Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Silver Pagoda. Sri Lanka: Polonnaruwa, Temple of the Tooth, Anuradhapura. Laos: Luang Prabang. Malaysia: Kek Lok Si, Cheng Hoon Teng, Maha Vihara Myanmar: Bagan, Sagaing Hill. Nepal: Boudhanath, Swayambhunath. Indonesia: Borobudur. China: Yung-kang, Lung-men caves; the Four Sacred Mountains Japan: Shikoku Pilgrimage, 88 Temple pilgrimage in the Shikoku island. Japan 100 Kannon, pilgrimage composed of the Bandō and Chichibu pilgrimages. Saigoku 33 Kannon, pilgrimage in the Kansai region. Bandō 33 Kannon, pilgrimage in the Kantō region. Chichibu 34 Kannon, pilgrimage in Saitama Prefecture. Chūgoku 33 Kannon, pilgrimage in the Chūgoku region. Kumano Kodō Mount Kōya. Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected with the birth, life and resurrection of Jesus.
Aside from the early example of Origen in the third century, surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land date from the 4th century, when pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers including Saint Jerome, established by Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. The purpose of Christian pilgrimage was summarized by Pope Benedict XVI this way:To go on pilgrimage is not to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history. To go on pilgrimage means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe. Above all, Christians go on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, to the places associated with the Lord’s passion and resurrection, they go to Rome, the city of the martyrdom of Peter and Paul, to Compostela, associated with the memory of Saint James, has welcomed pilgrims from throughout the world who desire to strengthen their spirit with the Apostle’s witness of faith and love.
Pilgrimages were, are made to Rome and other sites associated with the apostles and Christian martyrs, as well as to places where there have been apparitions of the Virgin Mary. A popular pilgrimage journey is along the Way of St. James to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, in Galicia, where the shrine of the apostle James is located. A combined pilgrimage was held every seven years in the three nearby towns of Maastricht and Kornelimünster where many important relics could be seen. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales recounts tales told by Christian pilgrims on their way to Canterbury Cathedral and the shrine of Thomas Becket. According to Karel Werner's Popular Dictionary of Hinduism, "most Hindu places of pilgrimage are associated with legendary events from the lives of various gods.... Any place can become a focus for pilgrimage, but in most cases they are sacred cities, rivers and mountains." Hindus are encouraged to undertake pilgrimages during their lifetime, though this practice is not considered mandatory.
Most Hindus visit sites within their locale. Kumbh Mela: Kumbh Mela is one of the largest gatherings of humans in the world where pilgrims gather to
A voluntary group or union is a group of individuals who enter into an agreement as volunteers, to form a body to accomplish a purpose. Common examples include trade associations, trade unions, learned societies, professional associations, environmental groups. Membership is not voluntary: in order for particular associations to function they might need to be mandatory or at least encouraged, as is common with many teachers unions in the US; because of this, some people use the term common-interest association to describe groups which form out of a common interest, although this term is not used or understood. Voluntary associations may be unincorporated. In the UK, the terms Voluntary Association or Voluntary Organisation cover every type of group from a small local Residents' Association to large Associations with multimillion-pound turnover that run large-scale business operations. In many jurisdictions no formalities are necessary to start an association. In some jurisdictions, there is a minimum for the number of persons starting an association.
Some jurisdictions require that the association register with the police or other official body to inform the public of the association's existence. This could be a tool of political control or intimidation, a way of protecting the economy from fraud. In many such jurisdictions, only a registered association is a juristic person whose members are not responsible for the financial acts of the association. Any group of persons may, of course, work as an informal association, but in such cases, each person making a transaction in the name of the association takes responsibility for that transaction, just as if it were that individual's personal transaction. There are many countries where the formation of independent Voluntary Associations is proscribed by law or where they are theoretically permitted, but in practice are persecuted. Voluntary groups are a broad and original form of nonprofit organizations, have existed since ancient history. In Ancient Greece, for example, there were various organizations ranging from elite clubs of wealthy men to private religious or professional associations.
In preindustrial societies, governmental administrative duties were handled by voluntary associations such as guilds. In medieval Europe, guilds controlled towns. Merchant guilds enforced contracts through embargoes and sanctions on their members, adjudicated disputes. However, by the 1800s, merchant guilds had disappeared. Economic historians have debated the precise role that merchant guilds played in premodern society and economic growth. In the United Kingdom, craft guilds were more successful than merchant guilds and formed livery companies which exerted significant influence on society. A standard definition of an unincorporated association was given by Lord Justice Lawton in the English trust law case Conservative and Unionist Central Office v Burrell: "unincorporated association" two or more persons bound together for one or more common purposes, not being business purposes, by mutual undertakings, each having mutual duties and obligations, in an organisation which has rules which identify in whom control of it and its funds rests and upon what terms and which can be joined or left at will.
In most countries, an unincorporated association does not have separate legal personality, few members of the association enjoy limited liability. However, in some countries they are treated as having separate legal personality for tax purposes. However, because of their lack of legal personality, legacies to unincorporated associations are sometimes subject to general common law prohibitions against purpose trusts. Associations that are organized for profit or financial gain are called partnerships. A special kind of partnership is a co-operative, founded on one person—one vote principle and distributes its profits according to the amount of goods produced or bought by the members. Associations may take the form of a non-profit organization or they may be not-for-profit corporations. Most associations have some kind of document or documents that regulate the way in which the body meets and operates; such an instrument is called the organization's bylaws, regulations, or agreement of association.
Under English law, an unincorporated association consists of two or more members bound by the rules of a society which has at some point in time, been founded. Several theories have been proposed as to the way. A transfer may be considered to have been made to the association's members directly as joint tenants or tenants in common. Alternatively, the funds transferred may be considered to have been under the terms of a private purpose trust. Many purpose trusts fail for want of a beneficiary and this may therefore may result in the gift failing. However, some purpose trusts are valid, accordingly, some cases have decided that the rights associated with unincorporated associations are held on this basis; the dominant theory, however, is that the rights are transferred to the members or officers perhaps on trust for the members, but
In religion, a prophet is an individual, regarded as being in contact with a divine being and is said to speak on that entity's behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy. Claims of prophethood have existed in many cultures throughout history, including Judaism, Islam, in ancient Greek religion, Zoroastrianism and many others; the English word prophet is a compound Greek word, from the verb phesein. In Hebrew, the word נָבִיא, "spokesperson", traditionally translates as "prophet"; the second subdivision of the Hebrew Bible, TaNaKh, is devoted to the Hebrew prophets. The meaning of navi is described in Deuteronomy 18:18, where God said, "...and I will put My words in his mouth, he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." Thus, the navi was thought to be the "mouth" of God. The root nun-bet-alef is based on the two-letter root nun-bet. Cf. Rashbam's comment to Genesis 20:7.
In addition to writing and speaking messages from God, Israelite or Jewish nevi'im acted out prophetic parables in their life. For example, in order to contrast the people’s disobedience with the obedience of the Rechabites, God has Jeremiah invite the Rechabites to drink wine, in disobedience to their ancestor’s command; the Rechabites refuse, wherefore God commends them. Other prophetic parables acted out by Jeremiah include burying a linen belt so that it gets ruined to illustrate how God intends to ruin Judah's pride. Jeremiah buys a clay jar and smashes it in the Valley of Ben Hinnom in front of elders and priests to illustrate that God will smash the nation of Judah and the city of Judah beyond repair. God instructs Jeremiah to make a yoke from wood and leather straps and to put it on his own neck to demonstrate how God will put the nation under the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In a similar way, the prophet Isaiah had to walk stripped and barefoot for three years to illustrate the coming captivity, the prophet Ezekiel had to lie on his side for 390 days and eat measured food to illustrate the coming siege.
The prophetic assignment is not always portrayed as positive in the Hebrew Bible, prophets were the target of persecution and opposition. God’s personal prediction for Jeremiah, "Attack you they will, overcome you they can't," was performed many times in the biblical narrative as Jeremiah warned of destruction of those who continued to refuse repentance and accept more moderate consequences. In return for his adherence to God’s discipline and speaking God’s words, Jeremiah was attacked by his own brothers and put into the stocks by a priest and false prophet, imprisoned by the king, threatened with death, thrown into a cistern by Judah’s officials, opposed by a false prophet. Isaiah was told by his hearers who rejected his message, "Leave the way! Get off the path! Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel!" The life of Moses being threatened by Pharaoh is another example. According to I Samuel 9:9, the old name for navi is ro'eh, רֹאֶה, which means "Seer"; that could document an ancient shift, from viewing prophets as seers for hire to viewing them as moral teachers.
Allen comments that in the First Temple Era, there were seer-priests, who formed a guild, performed rituals and sacrifices, were scribes, there were canonical prophets, who did none of these and had instead a message to deliver. The seer-priests were attached to a local shrine or temple, such as Shiloh, initiated others as priests in that priesthood: it was a mystical craft-guild with apprentices and recruitment. Canonical prophets were not organised this way; some examples of prophets in the Tanakh include Abraham, Miriam, Samuel, Ezekiel and Job. In Jewish tradition Daniel is not counted in the list of prophets. A Jewish tradition suggests that there were twice as many prophets as the number which left Egypt, which would make 1,200,000 prophets; the Talmud recognizes the existence of 48 male prophets who bequeathed permanent messages to mankind. According to the Talmud there were seven women who are counted as prophetesses whose message bears relevance for all generations: Sarah, Devorah, Abigail and Esther.
The Talmudic and Biblical commentator Rashi points out that Rebecca and Leah were prophets. Isaiah 8:3-4refers he married "the prophetess", which conceived and gave to him a son, named by God Mahèr-salàl-cash-baz, her name isn't elsewhere specified. Prophets in Tanakh are not always Jews; the story of Balaam in Numbers 22 describes a non-Jewish prophet. According to the Talmud, Obadiah is said to have been a convert to Judaism; the last nevi'im mentioned in the Jewish Bible are Haggai and Malachi, all of whom lived at the end of the 70-year Babylonian exile. The Talmud states that Haggai and Malachi were the last prophets, nowadays only the "Bath Kol" exists. In Christianity, a prophet is one inspired by God through the Holy Spirit to deliver a message; some Christian denominations limit a prophet's message to words int
Theophany is the appearance of a deity to a human. This term has been used to refer to appearances of the gods in the ancient Greek and Near Eastern religions. While the Iliad is the earliest source for descriptions of theophanies in the classical tradition/era the earliest description of a theophany is in the Epic of Gilgamesh; the term theophany has acquired a specific usage for Christians and Jews with respect to the Bible: It refers to the manifestation of the Abrahamic God to people. Only a small number of theophanies are found in the Hebrew Bible known as the Old Testament. At Delphi the Theophania was an annual festival in spring celebrating the return of Apollo from his winter quarters in Hyperborea; the culmination of the festival was a display of an image of the gods hidden in the sanctuary, to worshippers. Roman mystery religions included similar brief displays of images to excited worshippers; the appearance of Zeus to Semele is more than a mortal can stand and she is burned to death by the flames of his power.
However, most Greek theophanies were less deadly. Unusual for Greek mythology is the story of Prometheus, not an Olympian but a Titan, who brought knowledge of fire to humanity. There are no descriptions of the humans involved in this theophany, but Prometheus was punished by Zeus. Divine or heroic epiphanies were sometimes experienced in historical times, either in dreams or as a waking vision, led to the foundation of a cult, or at least an act of worship and the dedication of a commemorative offering; the 4th-century bishop Eusebius of Caesarea wrote a treatise "On Divine Manifestation", referring to the Incarnation of Jesus. Traditional analysis of the Biblical passages led Christian scholars to understand theophany as an unambiguous manifestation of God to man, where "unambiguous" indicates that the seers or seer are of no doubt that it is God revealing himself to them. Otherwise, the more general term hierophany is used. In Revelation, God is described as "having the appearance like that of jasper and carnelian with a rainbow-like halo as brilliant as emerald".
The New Catholic Encyclopedia cites examples such as Gen 3:8a. The same source quotes Gen 16:7–14. In this case it is an angel which appears to Hagar, however it says that God spoke directly to her, that she saw God and lived; the next example the New Catholic Encyclopedia cites is Gen 22:11–15, which states explicitly that it was the angel of the Lord speaking to Abraham. However, the angel addressing Abraham speaks the words of God in the first person. In both of the last two examples, although it is an angel present, the voice is of God spoken through the angel, so this is a manifestation of God Himself. A similar case would be the burning bush. Moses saw an angel in the bush, but goes on to have a direct conversation with God himself. In the case of Jesus Christ according to the gospels and tradition, the majority of Christians understand him to be God the Son, become man; the New Catholic Encyclopedia, makes few references to a theophany from the gospels. Mk 1:9-11, Lk 9:28–36 are cited which recount the Baptism, the Transfiguration of Jesus respectively.
Although Jesus Christ is believed by Christians to be God, it is only when his divine glory is not veiled by his humanity, that it could be termed theophany. Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches celebrate the theophany of Jesus Christ on the 6th of January according to a liturgical calendar as one of the "Great Feasts". In Western Orthodox Christian Churches, the 6th of January is kept as the holy day Epiphany, while the feast of Theophany is celebrated separately, on the following Sunday. In Orthodox Christian tradition, the feast commemorates the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist, considered a theophany because this event marks the beginning of Jesus' public ministry; the account of this event in St Matthew's Gospel is the first occasion in all of the Bible where the Holy Trinity is revealed explicitly as Father and Holy Spirit: the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Some modern Evangelical Christian Bible commentators, such as Ron Rhodes, interpret “the angel of the Lord,” who appears in several places throughout the Old Testament, to be the pre-incarnate Christ, Jesus before his manifestation into human form, as described in the New Testament.
The term Christophany has been coined to identify preincarnate appearances of Christ in the Old Testament. Non-Trinitarian Christians differ on the pre-existence of Christ; those groups which have Arian Christology such as Jehovah's Witnesses may identify some appearances of angels the archangel Michael, as Christophanies, but not theophanies. Those groups with early Unitarian or Socinian Christology such as Christadelphians and the Church of God General Conference identify the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament much as Jews do as angels. Early Christadelphians, notably John Thomas and C. C. Walker integrated angelic theophanies and God as revealed in his various divine names into a doctrine of God Manifestation which carries on into a Unitarian understanding of God's theophany in Christ and God being manifested in resurrected believers. Joseph Smith, the prophet and founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, said that when he was 14 years old, he was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees near his house, a theophany in answer to his spoken prayer.
This "First Vision" is considered to be the f