An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Smith, Captain John

(Jan. 1579-June 21, 1631). An organizer of the Virginia Company of London. Smith was born in Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England. He promoted the Virginia Company's plan to found a colony in […]

Smith, John Cotton

(Aug. 4, 1826-Jan. 9, 1882). Nineteenth-century broad churchman. He was born in Andover, Massachusetts. Smith attended Phillips Academy, Andover, and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1847. After studying theology at […]

Smith, Robert

(Aug. 25, 1732-Oct. 28, 1801). First Bishop of South Carolina. He was born in the County of Norfolk, England. Smith studied at Caius College and Gonville College, Cambridge University, and […]

Smith, William

(Sept. 7, 1727-May 14, 1803). Educator and priest. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Smith received his M.A. degree from the University of Aberdeen in 1747. He lived in London after graduation […]

Smith, William

(1754-Apr. 6, 1821). Leading priest and musician. He was born probably at Aberdeen, Scotland, and possibly attended the University of Aberdeen. Smith came to the American colonies in 1785 as […]


1) A Russian theological term indicating a conciliar and ecumenical ideal of the church, based on a spiritual unity of freedom and love. This interior communion of the church is […]

Social Gospel

The Social Gospel movement, which began towards the end of the nineteenth century and continued until World War I, was chiefly a response to the failure of mainline Protestant churches […]

Social Justice

Justice indicates what is right or fair. Social justice is concerned with the fairness of transactions and distribution. What is called commutative justice considers such matters as contracts and due […]


A pious fellowship or guild that promotes the Christian life of its members and may include other religious purposes such as evangelism or outreach to the needy. Although the term […]

Solemn Collects

The solemn collects are derived from the most ancient western form of the prayers of the people. The biddings date from the third or fourth century, and the collects date […]


See Eremitic; see Hermit, Hermitess.

Songs for Celebration

This 1980 hymnal supplement was intended to broaden the forms of musical expression available to the church. It was produced under the direction of the Standing Commission on Church Music […]

Songs for Liturgy and More Hymns and Spiritual Songs

This supplement to The Hymnal (1940) was prepared by the Joint Commission on Church Music and approved by the 1970 General Convention. It was published in 1971. The general editor […]


Theology of salvation. Theological reflection on the meaning of salvation in Christ and how we may share salvation by faith. Salvation is eternal life in the fullness of God's love. […]


The spiritual nature of a human being, as distinguished from the bodily or physical nature. This distinction is reflected in Eucharistic Prayer I, which states, “here we offer and present […]

Source Criticism

Critical study of the sources of the NT gospels. Given the similarity yet individuality of the synoptic gospels, nineteenth-century scholars sought to find a way to determine the gospels' historical […]

South Carolina, Diocese of

The first convention of this diocese was held on May 12, 1785, at the State House in Charles Town. The 1922 General Convention voted to divide the diocese. The Diocese […]

South Dakota, Diocese of

The House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Dakota in 1868, and in 1871 it established the Missionary District of Niobrara. On Oct. 11, 1883, the House of Bishops […]

South Florida, Diocese of

The 1892 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of Florida. The Missionary Jurisdiction of Southern Florida included all the counties in Florida south of the counties of Leon, Alachua, […]

Southeast Florida, Diocese of

The 1969 General Convention voted to divide the Diocese of South Florida into three dioceses. One of the three dioceses had the temporary name of the East Coast Diocese of […]

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Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.