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Middle English, from Late Latin ecclesiasticus, from Late Greek ekklēsiastikos, from Greek, of an assembly of citizens, from ekklēsiastēs

Ecclesiology comes from the Greek ἐκκλησία (ekklesia), which entered Latin as ecclesia. In the Greco-Roman world, the word was used to refer to a lawful assembly, or a called legislative body. As early as [Pythagoras, the word took on the additional meaning of a community with shared beliefs. This is the meaning taken in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint), and later adopted by the Christian community to refer to the assembly of believers.


  • 1: of or relating to a church especially as an established institution
  • 2: suitable for use in a church


Authority in the Church, or ecclesiastical authority, will verify, though in its own way, the concept already developed in the general treatment of the term authority. If the Church is a true society of human beings, a group seeking a common end through concerted action, it is inevitable that there is need of control, some power to determine ways and means, to allot functions, to re-dress grievances—in a word, to protect against the centrifugal tendencies that jeopardize communal action. Men in the supernatural order still display the diversity of viewpoint that makes authority necessary wherever life is to be lived within community structures.[1]