Digest of terms


literally in its Greek usage 'correct teaching'.

In respect of Christianity, it is the designation of church traditions, predominantly in Eastern Mediterranean, centred on the historical Christian patriarchates alongside that of Rome: Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople and Jerusalem or centred nationally in Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Greece, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine. Tension between eastern and western parts of the church, as especially represented by Constantinople v Rome led to schism in 1054. Since then the authoritative reference point lies within the self-governing national church, with some significant presence in, through and from the World Council of Churches. The association of Orthodoxy with nationalism is strong.

In respect of Judaism, it is the designation of those in the Jewish tradition who accept the written (Torah) and oral (Mishnah) teachings as deriving directly from God. The Progressive and Reform traditions are respectful of the authority of scripture and oral tradition, but with a belief in the continuing divine revelation in ongoing Jewish experience. These differences in regard to the source and authority of religious teachings have a direct relation to the ways in which food regulations and Israel are understood.

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