A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches, associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state; the word deacon is derived from the Greek word diákonos, a standard ancient Greek word meaning "servant", "waiting-man", "minister", or "messenger". One promulgated speculation as to its etymology is that it means "through the dust", referring to the dust raised by the busy servant or messenger, it is assumed that the office of deacon originated in the selection of seven men by the apostles, among them Stephen, to assist with the charitable work of the early church as recorded in Acts 6. The title deaconess is not found in the Bible. However, one woman, Phoebe, is mentioned at Romans 16:1–2 as a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. Nothing more specific is said about her duties or authority, although it is assumed she carried Paul's Letter to the Romans.
The exact relationship between male and female deacons varies. In some traditions a female deacon is a member of the order of deacons, while in others, deaconesses constitute a separate order. In some traditions, the title "deaconess" was sometimes given to the wife of a deacon. Female deacons are mentioned by Pliny the Younger in a letter to the emperor Trajan dated c. 112. “I believed it was necessary to find out from two female slaves who were called deacons, what was true—and to find out through torture ”This is the earliest Latin text that appears to refer to female deacons as a distinct category of Christian minister. A biblical description of the qualities required of a deacon, of his household, can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1–13. Among the more prominent deacons in history are Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Prominent historical figures who played major roles as deacons and went on to higher office include Athanasius of Alexandria, Thomas Becket, Reginald Pole. On June 8, 536, a serving Roman deacon was raised to Silverius.
The title is used for the president, chairperson, or head of a trades guild in Scotland. The diaconate is one of the major orders in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox churches; the other major orders are those of bishop and presbyter and sub-deacon. While the diaconate as a vocation was maintained from earliest Apostolic times to the present in the Eastern churches, it disappeared in the Western church during the first millennium, with Western churches retaining deacons attached to diocesan cathedrals; the diaconate continued in a vestigial form as a temporary, final step along the course toward ordination to priesthood. In the 20th century, the diaconate was restored as a vocational order in many Western churches, most notably in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the United Methodist Church. In Catholic and Anglican churches, deacons assist priests in their pastoral and administrative duties, but report directly to the bishops of their diocese, they have a distinctive role in the liturgy of the Western Churches.
In the Eastern Church, deacons have a profound liturgical presence in the Divine Liturgy. In the Western Church, Pope St. Gregory the Great reduced the liturgical role of the deacon in the Roman Rite, limiting them to serving the bishop, the proclamation of the Gospel, assisting the celebrant at the altar aside from the deacon's calling of charity. Today, deacons are granted permission to preach. Beginning around the fifth century, there was a gradual decline in the permanent diaconate in the Latin church, it has however remained a vital part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. From that time until the years just prior to the Second Vatican Council, the only men ordained as deacons were seminarians who were completing the last year or so of graduate theological training, so-called "transitional deacons", who received the order after they complete their third year at the theological seminary, several months before priestly ordination. Following the recommendations of the council, in 1967 Pope Paul VI issued the motu proprio Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, restoring the ancient practice of ordaining to the diaconate men who were not candidates for priestly ordination.
These men are known as permanent deacons in contrast to those continuing their formation, who were called transitional deacons. There is no sacramental or canonical difference between the two, however, as there is only one order of deacons; the permanent diaconate formation period in the Roman Catholic Church varies from diocese to diocese as it is determined by the local ordinary. But it entails a year of prayerful preparation, a four- or five-year training period that resembles a collegiate course of study, a year of post-ordination formation as well as the need for lifelong continuing education credits. Diaconal candidates receive instruction in philosophy, study of the Holy Scriptures (
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with 200–260 million members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia; the church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Near East. Eastern Orthodox theology is based on the Nicene Creed; the church teaches that it is the One, Holy and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles. It maintains, its patriarchates, reminiscent of the pentarchy, autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect a variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven major sacraments, of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest, the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ; the Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the God-bearer, honoured in devotions. The Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine the authority of the Pope. Before the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, the Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating over differences in Christology; the majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Southeast and Eastern Europe, Cyprus and other communities in the Caucasus region, communities in Siberia reaching the Russian Far East. There are smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Middle East where it is decreasing due to persecution.
There are many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora and missionary activity. In keeping with the church's teaching on universality and with the Nicene Creed, Orthodox authorities such as Saint Raphael of Brooklyn have insisted that the full name of the church has always included the term "Catholic", as in "Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church"; the official name of the Eastern Orthodox Church is the "Orthodox Catholic Church". It is the name by which the church refers to itself in its liturgical or canonical texts, in official publications, in official contexts or administrative documents. Orthodox teachers refer to the church as Catholic; this name and longer variants containing "Catholic" are recognised and referenced in other books and publications by secular or non-Orthodox writers. The common name of the church, "Eastern Orthodox Church", is a shortened practicality that helps to avoid confusions in casual use. From ancient times through the first millennium, Greek was the most prevalent shared language in the demographic regions where the Byzantine Empire flourished, Greek, being the language in which the New Testament was written, was the primary liturgical language of the church.
For this reason, the eastern churches were sometimes identified as "Greek" before the Great Schism of 1054. After 1054, "Greek Orthodox" or "Greek Catholic" marked a church as being in communion with Constantinople, much as "Catholic" did for communion with Rome; this identification with Greek, became confusing with time. Missionaries brought Orthodoxy to many regions without ethnic Greeks, where the Greek language was not spoken. In addition, struggles between Rome and Constantinople to control parts of Southeastern Europe resulted in the conversion of some churches to Rome, which also used "Greek Catholic" to indicate their continued use of the Byzantine rites. Today, many of those same churches remain, while a large number of Orthodox are not of Greek national origin, do not use Greek as the language of worship. "Eastern" indicates the geographical element in the Church's origin and development, while "Orthodox" indicates the faith, as well as communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
There are additional Christian churches in the east that are in communion with neither Rome nor Constantinople, who tend to be distinguished by the category named "Oriental Orthodox". While the church continues to call itself "Catholic", for reasons of universality, the common title of "Eastern Orthodox Church" avoids casual confusion with the Roman Catholic Church; the first known use of the phrase "the catholic Church" occurred in a letter written about 110 AD from one Greek church to another. The letter states: "Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church." Thus from the beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy and Apostolic Church". The Eastern Orthodox Church claims that it is today the continuation and preservation of that same early Church. A number of other Christian churches make a similar claim: the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Assyrian Church and the Oriental Orthodox.
In the Eastern Orthodox v
An icon is a religious work of art, most a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary and angels. Although associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible. Icons may be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Comparable images from Western Christianity are not classified as "icons", although "iconic" may be used to describe a static style of devotional image. Eastern Orthodox tradition holds that the production of Christian images dates back to the early days of Christianity, that it has been a continuous tradition since then. Modern academic art history considers that, while images may have existed earlier, the tradition can be traced back only as far as the 3rd century, that the images which survive from Early Christian art differ from ones.
The icons of centuries can be linked closely, to images from the 5th century onwards, though few of these survive. Widespread destruction of images occurred during the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 726–842, although this did settle permanently the question of the appropriateness of images. Since icons have had a great continuity of style and subject. At the same time there has been development. Christian tradition dating from the 8th century identifies Luke the Evangelist as the first icon painter. Aside from the legend that Pilate had made an image of Christ, the 4th-century Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Church History, provides a more substantial reference to a "first" icon of Jesus, he relates that King Abgar of Edessa sent a letter to Jesus at Jerusalem, asking Jesus to come and heal him of an illness. In this version there is no image. A account found in the Syriac Doctrine of Addai mentions a painted image of Jesus in the story. Further legends relate that the cloth remained in Edessa until the 10th century, when it was taken to Constantinople.
It went missing in 1204 when Crusaders sacked Constantinople, but by numerous copies had established its iconic type. The 4th-century Christian Aelius Lampridius produced the earliest known written records of Christian images treated like icons in his Life of Alexander Severus that formed part of the Augustan History. According to Lampridius, the emperor Alexander Severus, himself not a Christian, had kept a domestic chapel for the veneration of images of deified emperors, of portraits of his ancestors, of Christ, Apollonius and Abraham. Saint Irenaeus, in his Against Heresies says scornfully of the Gnostic Carpocratians: "They possess images, some of them painted, others formed from different kinds of material, they crown these images, set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world, to say, with the images of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, the rest. They have other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles ". On the other hand, Irenaeus does not speak critically of icons or portraits in a general sense—only of certain gnostic sectarians' use of icons.
Another criticism of image veneration appears in the non-canonical 2nd-century Acts of John, in which the Apostle John discovers that one of his followers has had a portrait made of him, is venerating it: "...he went into the bedchamber, saw the portrait of an old man crowned with garlands, lamps and altars set before it. And he called him and said: Lycomedes, what do you mean by this matter of the portrait? Can it be one of thy gods, painted here? For I see that you are still living in heathen fashion." In the passage John says, "But this that you have now done is childish and imperfect: you have drawn a dead likeness of the dead." At least some of the hierarchy of the Christian churches still opposed icons in the early 4th century. At the Spanish non-ecumenical Synod of Elvira bishops concluded, "Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration". Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, wrote his letter 51 to John, Bishop of Jerusalem in which he recounted how he tore down an image in a church and admonished the other bishop that such images are "opposed... to our religion".
Elsewhere in his Church History, Eusebius reports seeing what he took to be portraits of Jesus and Paul, mentions a bronze statue at Banias / Paneas under Mount Hermon, of which he wrote, "They say that this statue is an image of Jesus". John Francis Wilson suggests the possibility that this refers to a pagan bronze statue whose tru
Origen of Alexandria known as Origen Adamantius, was an early Christian scholar and theologian, born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer who wrote 2,000 treatises in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and biblical hermeneutics and spirituality, he was one of the most influential figures in early Christian theology and asceticism. He has been described as "the greatest genius the early church produced". Origen sought martyrdom with his father at a young age, but was prevented from turning himself in to the authorities by his mother; when he was eighteen years old, Origen became a catechist at the Catechetical School of Alexandria. He devoted himself to his studies and adopted an ascetic lifestyle as both a vegetarian and teetotaler, he came into conflict with Demetrius, the bishop of Alexandria, in 231 after he was ordained as a presbyter by his friend, the bishop of Caesarea, while on a journey to Athens through Palestine.
Demetrius condemned Origen for insubordination and accused him of having castrated himself and of having taught that Satan would attain salvation, an accusation which Origen himself vehemently denied. Origen founded the Christian School of Caesarea, where he taught logic, natural history, theology, became regarded by the churches of Palestine and Arabia as the ultimate authority on all matters of theology, he was tortured for his faith during the Decian persecution in 250 and died three to four years from his injuries. Origen was able to produce a massive quantity of writings due to the patronage of his close friend Ambrose, who provided him with a team of secretaries to copy his works, making him one of the most prolific writers in all of antiquity, his treatise On the First Principles systematically laid out the principles of Christian theology and became the foundation for theological writings. He authored Contra Celsum, the most influential work of early Christian apologetics, in which he defended Christianity against the pagan philosopher Celsus, one of its foremost early critics.
Origen produced the Hexapla, the first critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, which contained the original Hebrew text as well as five different Greek translations of it, all written in columns, side-by-side. He wrote hundreds of homilies covering the entire Bible, interpreting many passages as allegorical. Origen taught that, before the creation of the material universe, God had created the souls of all the intelligent beings; these souls, at first devoted to God, fell away from him and were given physical bodies. Origen was the first to propose the ransom theory of atonement in its developed form and, though he was a Subordinationist, he significantly contributed to the development of the concept of the Trinity. Origen hoped that all people might attain salvation, but was always careful to maintain that this was only speculation, he advocated Christian pacifism. Origen is a Church Father and is regarded as one of the most important Christian theologians of all time, his teachings were influential in the east, with Athanasius of Alexandria and the three Cappadocian Fathers being among his most devoted followers.
Argument over the orthodoxy of Origen's teachings spawned the First Origenist Crisis in the late fourth century AD, in which he was attacked by Epiphanius of Salamis and Jerome, but defended by Tyrannius Rufinus and John of Jerusalem. In 543, the emperor Justinian I condemned him as a heretic and ordered all his writings to be burned; the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 may have anathemized Origen, or it may have only condemned certain heretical teachings which claimed to be derived from Origen. His teachings on the pre-existence of souls were rejected by the Church. All information about Origen's life comes from a lengthy biography of him in Book VI of the Ecclesiastical History written by the Christian historian Eusebius. Eusebius portrays Origen as a literal saint. Eusebius, wrote this account fifty years after Origen's death and had access to few reliable sources on Origen's life his early years. Anxious for more material about his hero, Eusebius recorded events based on only unreliable hearsay evidence and made speculative inferences about Origen based on the sources he had available.
Nonetheless, scholars can reconstruct a general impression of Origen's historical life by sorting out the parts of Eusebius's account that are accurate from those that are inaccurate. Origen was born in either 186 AD in Alexandria. According to Eusebius, Origen's father was Leonides of Alexandria, a respected professor of literature and a devout Christian who practiced his religion openly. Joseph Wilson Trigg deems the details of this report unreliable, but states that Origen's father was "a prosperous and Hellenized bourgeois". According to John Anthony McGuckin, Origen's mother, whose name is unknown, may have been a member of the lower class who did not have the right of citizenship, it is that, on account of his mother's status, Origen himself was not a Roman citizen. Origen's father taught him about literature and philosophy, about the Bible and Christian doctrine. Eusebius states. Trigg accepts this tradition as genuine, given Origen's ability as an adult to recite extended passages of scripture at will.
Eusebius reports that Origen became so learned about the holy scriptures at an early age that his father was unable to answer his questions. In 202, wh
Justinian I, traditionally known as Justinian the Great and Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Later Roman empire, his reign is marked by the ambitious but only realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire"; because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been known as the "last Roman" in mid 20th century historiography. This ambition was expressed by the partial recovery of the territories of the defunct Western Roman Empire, his general, swiftly conquered the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa. Subsequently, Belisarius and other generals conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom, restoring Dalmatia, Sicily and Rome to the empire after more than half a century of rule by the Ostrogoths; the prefect Liberius reclaimed the south of the Iberian peninsula, establishing the province of Spania.
These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empire's annual revenue by over a million solidi. During his reign, Justinian subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before, he engaged the Sasanian Empire in the east during Kavad I's reign, again during Khosrow I's. A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, still the basis of civil law in many modern states, his reign marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia. Justinian was born in Tauresium, around 482. A native speaker of Latin, he came from a peasant family believed to have been of Illyro-Roman or Thraco-Roman origins; the cognomen Iustinianus, which he took is indicative of adoption by his uncle Justin. During his reign, he founded Justiniana Prima not far from his birthplace, which today is in South East Serbia.
His mother was the sister of Justin. Justin, in the imperial guard before he became emperor, adopted Justinian, brought him to Constantinople, ensured the boy's education; as a result, Justinian was well educated in jurisprudence and Roman history. Justinian served for some time with the Excubitors but the details of his early career are unknown. Chronicler John Malalas, who lived during the reign of Justinian, tells of his appearance that he was short, fair skinned, curly haired, round faced and handsome. Another contemporary chronicler, compares Justinian's appearance to that of tyrannical Emperor Domitian, although this is slander; when Emperor Anastasius died in 518, Justin was proclaimed the new emperor, with significant help from Justinian. During Justin's reign, Justinian was the emperor's close confidant. Justinian showed much ambition, it has been thought that he was functioning as virtual regent long before Justin made him associate emperor on 1 April 527, although there is no conclusive evidence of this.
As Justin became senile near the end of his reign, Justinian became the de facto ruler. Justinian was appointed consul in 521 and commander of the army of the east. Upon Justin's death on 1 August 527, Justinian became the sole sovereign; as a ruler, Justinian showed great energy. He was known as "the emperor" on account of his work habits, he seems to have been amiable and easy to approach. Around 525, he married Theodora, in Constantinople, she was by some twenty years his junior. In earlier times, Justinian could not have married her owing to her class, but his uncle, Emperor Justin I, had passed a law allowing intermarriage between social classes. Theodora would become influential in the politics of the Empire, emperors would follow Justinian's precedent in marrying outside the aristocratic class; the marriage caused a scandal, but Theodora would prove to be a shrewd judge of character and Justinian's greatest supporter. Other talented individuals included his legal adviser. Justinian's rule was not universally popular.
Justinian recovered. Theodora died in 548 at a young age of cancer. Justinian, who had always had a keen interest in theological matters and participated in debates on Christian doctrine, became more devoted to religion during the years of his life; when he died on 14 November 565, he left no children, though his wife Theodora had given birth to a stillborn son several years into his reign. He was succeeded by Justin II, the son of his sister Vigilantia and married to Sophia, the niece of Empress Theodora. Justinian's body was entombed in a specially built mausoleum in the Church of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fifteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople; because of its historical location as the capital of the former Eastern Roman Empire and its role as the Mother Church of most modern Orthodox churches, Constantinople holds a special place of honor within Orthodoxy and serves as the seat for the Ecumenical Patriarch, who enjoys the status of Primus inter pares among the world's Eastern Orthodox prelates and is regarded as the representative and spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. The Ecumenical Patriarchate promotes the expansion of the Christian faith and Orthodox doctrine, the Ecumenical Patriarchs are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of Orthodox Christian traditions. Prominent issues in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's policy in the 21st century include the safety of the believers in the Middle East, reconciliation of the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, the reopening of the Theological School of Halki, closed down by the Turkish authorities in 1971.
Christianity in Byzantium existed from the 1st century, but it was in the year 330 that the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great moved his residence to the small Greek town of Byzantium, renaming it Nova Roma. From that time, the importance of the church there grew, along with the influence of its bishop. Prior to the moving of the imperial capital, the bishop of Byzantium had been under the authority of the metropolitan of Heraclea, but beginning in the 4th century, he grew to become independent in his own right and to exercise authority throughout what is now Greece, Asia Minor and Thrace. With the development of the hierarchical structure of the Church, the bishop of Constantinople came to be styled as exarch. Constantinople was recognized as the fourth patriarchate at the First Council of Constantinople in 381, after Antioch and Rome; the patriarch was appointed by Antioch. Because of the importance of the position of Constantinople's church at the center of the Roman Empire, affairs involving the various churches outside Constantinople's direct authority came to be discussed in the capital where the intervention of the emperor was desired.
The patriarch became a liaison between the emperor and bishops traveling to the capital, thus establishing the position of the patriarch as one involving the unity of the whole Church in the East. In turn, the affairs of the Constantinopolitan church were overseen not just by the patriarch, but by synods held including visiting bishops; this pan-Orthodox synod came to be referred to as the ενδημουσα συνοδος. The resident synod not only governed the business of the patriarchate but examined questions pertinent to the whole Church as well as the eastern half of the old empire; the patriarch thus came to have the title of Ecumenical, which referenced not a universal episcopacy over other bishops, but rather the position of the patriarch as at the center of the oikoumeni, the "household" of the empire. As the Roman Empire stabilized and grew, so did the influence of the patriarchate at its capital; this influence came to be enshrined in Orthodox canon law, to such an extent that it was elevated beyond more ancient patriarchates: Canon 3 of the First Council of Constantinople stated that the bishop of that city "shall have primacy of honor after the Bishop of Rome because Constantinople is the New Rome."
In its disputed 28th Canon, the Council of Chalcedon in 451 recognized an expansion of the boundaries of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and of its authority over bishops of dioceses "among the barbarians", variously interpreted as referring either to areas outside the Byzantine Empire or to non-Greeks. The council resulted in a schism with the Patriarchate of Alexandria. In any case, for a thousand years the Patriarch of Constantinople presided over the church in the Eastern Roman Empire and its missionary activity that brought the Christian faith in its Byzantine form to many peoples north of the imperial borders; the cathedral church of Constantinople, Hagia Sophia, was the center of religious life in the eastern Christian world. The Ecumenical Patriarchate came to be called the "Great Church of Christ" and it was the touchstone and reference point for ecclesiastical affairs in the East, whether in terms of church government, relations with the state, or liturgical matters. In history and in canonical literature, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been granted certain prerogatives which other autocephalous Orthodox churches do not have.
Not all of these prerogatives are today universally acknowledged, though all do have precedents in history and canonical references. The following is a list of these prerogatives and their reference points: Equal prerogatives to Old Rome.
Clergy are some of the main and important formal leaders within certain religions. The roles and functions of clergy vary in different religious traditions but these involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices; some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman and churchman. Less common terms are churchwoman and cleric. In Christianity the specific names and roles of clergy vary by denomination and there is a wide range of formal and informal clergy positions, including deacons, priests, preachers, pastors and the Pope. In Islam, a religious leader is known formally or informally as an imam, mufti, mullah or ayatollah. In Jewish tradition, a religious leader is a rabbi or hazzan; the word "Cleric" comes from the ecclesiastical Latin Clericus, for those belonging to the priestly class. In turn, the source of the Latin word is from the Ecclesiastical Greek Clericus, meaning appertaining to an inheritance, in reference to the fact that the Levitical priests of the Old Testament had no inheritance except the Lord.
"Clergy" is from two Old French words, clergié and clergie, which refer to those with learning and derive from Medieval Latin clericatus, from Late Latin clericus. "Clerk", which used to mean one ordained to the ministry derives from clericus. In the Middle Ages and writing were exclusively the domain of the priestly class, this is the reason for the close relationship of these words. Within Christianity in Eastern Christianity and in Western Roman Catholicism, the term cleric refers to any individual, ordained, including deacons and bishops. In Latin Roman Catholicism, the tonsure was a prerequisite for receiving any of the minor orders or major orders before the tonsure, minor orders, the subdiaconate were abolished following the Second Vatican Council. Now, the clerical state is tied to reception of the diaconate. Minor Orders are still given in the Eastern Catholic Churches, those who receive those orders are'minor clerics.'The use of the word "Cleric" is appropriate for Eastern Orthodox minor clergy who are tonsured in order not to trivialize orders such as those of Reader in the Eastern Church, or for those who are tonsured yet have no minor or major orders.
It is in this sense that the word entered the Arabic language, most in Lebanon from the French, as kleriki meaning "seminarian." This is all in keeping with Eastern Orthodox concepts of clergy, which still include those who have not yet received, or do not plan to receive, the diaconate. A priesthood is a body of priests, shamans, or oracles who have special religious authority or function; the term priest is derived from the Greek presbyter, but is used in the sense of sacerdos in particular, i.e. for clergy performing ritual within the sphere of the sacred or numinous communicating with the gods on behalf of the community. Buddhist clergy are collectively referred to as the Sangha, consist of various orders of male and female monks; this diversity of monastic orders and styles was one community founded by Gautama Buddha during the 5th century BC living under a common set of rules. According to scriptural records, these celibate monks and nuns in the time of the Buddha lived an austere life of meditation, living as wandering beggars for nine months out of the year and remaining in retreat during the rainy season.
However, as Buddhism spread geographically over time - encountering different cultures, responding to new social and physical environments - this single form of Buddhist monasticism diversified. The interaction between Buddhism and Tibetan Bon led to a uniquely Tibetan Buddhism, within which various sects, based upon certain teacher-student lineages arose; the interaction between Indian Buddhist monks and Chinese Confucian and Taoist monks from c200-c900AD produced the distinctive Ch'an Buddhism. Ch'an, like the Tibetan style, further diversified into various sects based upon the transmission style of certain teachers, as well as in response to particular political developments such as the An Lushan Rebellion and the Buddhist persecutions of Emperor Wuzong. In these ways, manual labour was introduced to a practice where monks survived on alms; this adaptation of form and roles of Buddhist monastic practice continued after the transmission to Japan. For example, monks took on administrative functions for the Emperor in particular secular communities, thereby creating Buddhist'priests'.
Again, in response to various historic attempts to suppress Buddhism, the practice of celibacy was relaxed and Japanese monks allowed to marry. This form was transmitted to Korea, during Japanese occupation, where celibate and non-celibate monks today exist in the same sects.. As these varied styles of Buddhist monasticism are transmitted to Western cultures, still more new forms are being created. In general, the Mahayana schools of Buddhism tend to be mo