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(kăt`əkĭzəm) [Gr.,=oral instruction], originally oral instruction in religion, later written instruction. Catechisms are usually written in the form of questions and answers. Almost as old as Christianity, they were used especially for the instruction of converts and children. Catechisms were popular in the later Middle Ages and assumed even greater significance in the Reformation through Martin Luther's emphasis on the religious education of children. His Small Catechism (1529) is still the standard book of the Lutheran church. The greatest Calvinist catechism was the Heidelberg Catechism (1563). It was revised at Dort (1619) and was used in Dutch and German Reformed churches; other catechisms are the Longer and Shorter Catechisms of 1647 and 1648, drawn up to supplement the Westminster Confession; they are used in Presbyterian churches. The catechism for the Anglican Communion is included in the Book of Common Prayer.

A catechism long in use in the Roman Catholic church was that prepared by the Jesuit Peter Canisius, which appeared in 1555. The catechism of the Council of Trent, a document of high authority issued in 1566, was essentially a manual of instruction for use by the clergy in combating the Protestant Reformation; nonetheless it remained influential for over four centuries. The best-known Catholic catechism in England for many years was the Penny Catechism, adopted by the bishops of England and Wales; that in the United States was the Baltimore Catechism. The first new universal catechism of the Catholic church since that of the Council of Trent was released in French in 1992 and in English in 1994. The book forgoes the traditional question-and-answer format, instead providing a compendium of Roman Catholic teaching and belief. A summary of the catechism that employs a question-and-answer formate was released in 2005.



(1) A handbook containing the basic principles of Christian doctrine. During the first centuries of Christianity, the catechism was the oral instruction of those about to be baptized as Christians. Beginning with the 16th century the catechism became a book, a manual of instruction, which popularly set forth (usually in the form of questions and answers) the teachings of the Christian church. The Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches each have their own catechism.

(2) In the figurative sense, a catechism is a work written in theform of questions and answers.


instruction by a series of questions and answers, esp a book containing such instruction on the religious doctrine of a Christian Church
References in periodicals archive ?
In contrast to the 2006 edition, PPF 1971, speaks specifically about the educational needs of the parishioners and highlights both catechetics and religious education.
Even teaching catechetics in the government schools did not violate democratic principles, if it did not point to the restoration of an Orthodox monarchy or excite confrontation between "their religion and my religion.
Religious ed is hung on the framework of catechetics, which is largely about incorporating the Catholic answer to a set of predetermined questions.
The analysis not only acquaints the reader with a fascinating cast of characters, but also provides a vivid sense of the tensions among the popular morality of the age, the practice of Christian catechetics, and the reception of the Nicomachean Ethics.
We trust that Christians can discover the bases for their moral vision, values and conduct in the Scriptures and in other resources: moral traditions (including specific church and inter-church statements), liturgies, preaching and catechetics, pastoral practices, common human experiences and methods of reflection.
subtitled "A Sockdolager on Social Class vis-a-vis Women, in Catechetics, Poem, Story, and Cha Cha Cha, and featuring the Lettermen, me and my mom and dad, John Wayne as Elvis, and Spare.
For years, the Director of Catechetics was Monsignor Vincent Foy.
The Napa Institute is a remarkable mix of religious retreat, networking opportunity strategy session, wine-tasting vacation, immersion catechetics, pep rally and keyhole glimpse at the U.
Joseph studied catechetics at the Pontifical Catechetical School in Erie, PA.
Pawlikowski, Catechetics and Prejudice: How Catholic Teaching Materials' View Jews, Protestants', and Racial Minorities (New York: Paulist, 1973), which summarizes the findings of Rose Thering's 1961 doctoral dissertation; Claire Hutchet Bishop, How Catholics Look at Jews: Inquiries into Italian, Spanish, and French Teaching Materials (New York: Paulist, 1974); Eugene J.
1) The "teaching of contempt" is a comprehensive phrase popularized by the Jewish-French history prolessor Jules Isaac relating to the historic Christian teaching of supersessionism (replacement theology) that was endemic to Christian homiletics, liturgy, and catechetics.