From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"It is not always easy to see the difference between a denomination, a sect and a heresy. Take the case of Peter Waldo. Waldo began to preach on the streets of Lyon in 1173. He was a wealthy merchant and decided to give up all his wordly possessions, he was sick of his own affluence, that he had so much more than those around him. He went through the streets throwing his money away and decided to become a wandering preacher who would beg for a living. He began to attract a following who were later called Waldensians and prosecuted as heretics. Waldo had philosophy very similar to Francis of Assisi." --Sholem Stein
A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity that comprises all church congregations of the same kind, identifiable by traits such as a name, particular history, organization, leadership, theological doctrine, worship style and sometimes a founder. It is a secular and neutral term, generally used to denote any established Christian church. Unlike a cult or sect, a denomination is usually seen as part of the Christian religious mainstream. Most Christian denominations self-describe themselves as churches, whereas some newer ones tend to interchangeably use the terms churches, assemblies, fellowships, etc. Divisions between one group and another are defined by authority and doctrine; issues such as the nature of Jesus, the authority of apostolic succession, biblical hermeneutics, theology, ecclesiology, eschatology, and papal primacy may separate one denomination from another. Groups of denominations—often sharing broadly similar beliefs, practices, and historical ties—are sometimes known as "branches of Christianity". These branches differ in many ways, especially through differences in practices and belief.
- Christian tradition
- Great Church
- List of Christian denominations
- List of Christian denominations by number of members