Definitions for ecumenical council

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Freebase

  1. Ecumenical council

    An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world and which secures the approbation of the whole Church. The word "ecumenical" derives from the Greek language οἰκουμένη, which literally means "the inhabited world", but which was also applied more narrowly to mean the Roman Empire. Bishops belonging to what became known as the Church of the East participated in none of the councils later than the second, and further noteworthy schisms led to non-participation by other members of what had previously been considered a single Christian Church. Later ecumenical councils thus included bishops of only parts of the Church as previously constituted and were rejected or ignored by Christians not belonging to those parts. The first seven Ecumenical Councils, recognised by both the eastern and western branches of Chalcedonian Christianity, were convoked by Christian Roman Emperors, who also enforced the decisions of those councils within the state church of the Roman Empire.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Ecumenical Council

    an ecclesiastical council representative, or accepted as representative, of the Church universal or Catholic. See Councils.

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