from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The tendency to separate into religious denominations.
- n. Advocacy of separation into religious denominations.
- n. Strict adherence to a denomination; sectarianism.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The division of one religion into separate groups, sects, schools of thought or denominations.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A denominational or class spirit or policy; devotion to the interests of a sect or denomination.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The tendency to divide into sects or denominations; specifically, the inclination to emphasize the distinguishing tenets of a religious denomination, in contradistinction to the general principles adhered to by the whole class; a denominational or sectarian spirit.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the tendency, in Protestantism, to separate into religious denominations or to advocate such separations
- n. a narrow-minded adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The third option, the one in fact embraced by most religiously affiliated people in the US, is what I think is called "denominationalism" - the idea that different religious organizations are just different consumer products.
This attempt at definition is what Charles Ellis, in responding to O Connell, calls "denominationalism" — it's a second-order process of differentiation from the other varieties of the dominant religious tradition.
In these ways, denominationalism has become less significant as a basis for social and cultural tensions and divisions… As the population has become better educated, denominational barriers have ceased to function as hermetic categories of religious identification.37
With Christians moving from church to church for whatever reasons, and the decreasing emphasis on denominationalism, it is not unusual to find within a a single congregation, many different theological stands.
Noxiously resistant to territorialism and denominationalism.
Richard Carrier: I predict Evangelicals and Catholics (and Mormons and Baptists and everyone else) will not be able to arrest the current trend in younger generations toward liberal non-denominationalism and the abandonment of the entire church-sermon model that Christianity has maintained so far.
Get away from denominationalism and focus on Christianity.
A recent series of articles and short video documentaries [complete list here] at the website Talk To Action, which analyzes the intersection of religion and politics, has focused on connections of Palin's churches to that movement and begun to map out the barely-noticed yet rapidly growing, international move among fundamentalist Christianity, away from Christian denominationalism and towards a type of hyper-fundamentalism bent on achieving worldly power. more on Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation
I'm not convinced that denominationalism isn't as potentially divisive as the Jew/Gentile split of the early church, tho it is a reality of church life in our day, and denominations do exist for very good reasons...
Call it heresy, but if denominationalism means finding ways to keep individuals connected to our broader movement, if it can find ways of encouraging communications across congregational boundaries, and facilitate folks working together in a context of Unitarian Universalism, then I am all for it.