Christian Cyclopedia

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Agapastic Evolution.

(Agapasm). Theory of evolution by creative love. Developed by C. S. S. Peirce.* The doctrines that represent it may be termed agapasticism. The mere proposition that the law of love is operative in the cosmos may be termed agapism. Attraction, sympathy, and purpose appear in the envisioned agapistic development of human thought.


1. See Love; Lund, Theology of, 2. Love feast or common religious meal in the early ch. (1 Co 11:17–34, where abuses connected with common meals preceding the Eucharist are condemned; Ignatius, letter to the Smyrnaeans, viii; letter of Pliny* the Younger to Trajan).


(subintroductae; syneisaktai; syneisaktoi). Agapetae is from the Gk. for “beloved”; subintroductae is a Lat. term for females kept by men of clerical rank; syneisaktai (fem. pl.) and syneisaktoi (masc. pl.) are Gk. terms referring to the same practice, acc. to which virgins lived with clerics in spiritual marriage. A similar practice was followed by some Therapeutae.* Opposed, e.g., by Cyprian* of Carthage and J. Chrysostom.* Condemned by the Syn. of Elvira* (can. 27), the 314 Syn. of Ancyra* (can. 19), and the 325 Council of Nicaea* (can. 3). Suppressed by the Lateran* Council of 1139 (can. 6).


Acc. to legend, a virgin martyred in Sicily, perhaps during the Decian persecution. See also Persecution of Christians, 3, 4.

Agde, Council of.

Syn. held 506 at Agde (or Agatha), southern Gaul, ca. 30 mi. SW of Montpellier, Fr., under presidency of Caesarius* of Arles; 71 canons ascribed to it, 47 of which are genuine; matters dealt with include clerical celibacy, discipline, and obligations of the laity (including communing at Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost).

Age, Canonical.

The age at which mems. of chs. with canon* law are admitted to various obligations and privileges. In RCm one is presumed to reach the age of reason at 7, but allowance is made for variation. Reception of Communion is allowed before 7 at the discretion of the child's pastor, confessor, and parents. The age for confirmation is in flux, sometimes preceding, sometimes following first Communion. One who has the use of reason is bound by canon law in matters regarding reception of the Sacraments in danger of death, the precept of Easter Communion, and the precept of annual confession. The law of fasting becomes binding at 21. Minimum ages are specified for eligibility to certain ecclesiastical offices (e.g., bps. must be 30). The Angl. Ch. and the Oriental rites of the Cath. ch. have similar ecclesiastical rules or laws.


(Lat. “things to be done”). Also spelled Agende as taken from the German, used since the 16th c. in a wide sense to designate a book of ritual or order of worship indicating forms and ceremonies of ch. liturgy. The word may be used in a narrower sense in reference to special services and occasions (e.g., Baptism, confirmation, marriage, funeral, ordination) in distinction from liturgy as associated with common, gen. pub. services. Examples in Am. include Kirchenagende für Ev. Luth. Gemeinden ungeänderter Augsburgischer Konfession (St. Louis, 1922); Agende (Milwaukee, 1911); Liturgy and Agenda (St. Louis, 1936). See also Löohe, Johann Konrad Wilhelm; Service Books.

Agenda Controversy.

Occasioned by introd. of the Prussian Liturgy by Frederick* William III. In 1787 some congs. had petitioned for amendment of the Agenda. At the direction of the king, R. F. Eylert* drafted a new liturgy 1814, but the king rejected it as not sufficiently Luth. In 1816 an anonymous liturgy for the Court and Garrison Ch. at Potsdam appeared; it may have been composed by the king. F. D. E. Schleiermacher* attacked it as inadequate in richness and simplicity. When the king championed it and moved to make it acceptable and authoritative, Schleiermacher challenged his right and authority in the matter and, with others, claimed the right to vary from any Agenda. See also Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias von; Prussian Union.

Age of Reason.

1. See Age, Canonical. 2. Any period marked by rationalistic, antisupernaturalistic philos.; esp. the 18th c. in Eng. and Fr. See also Enlightenment; Natural Law, 5.

Aggrey, James Emman Kwegyir

(1875–1927). B. Anamabu, Gold Coast (now Rep. of Ghana), Afr.; converted to Methodism; educ. Livingstone Coll., Salisbury, North Carolina, and Columbia U., NYC; taught at Livingstone Coll.; Studied educ. in Afr.; helped est. Prince of Wales Coll., Achimota, near Accra, now U. of Ghana, Legon, near Accra. Promoted cooperation bet. whites and Negroes.


(Agilus; Ayeul; ca. 580—ca. 650). B. Franche-Comté, Fr.; monk trained by Eustace* at Luxeuil; miss. with Eustace to Bav. ca. 617; 1st abbot at Rebais. See also Germany, A 1.

Aging and Infirm, Homes and Services for

Care of and services for the aging received increased study and attention after 1950. Standardization and professionalization of services developed. substantial enrichment of services and care resulted, esp. through alternatives to institutional care that allow older person to stay in their own home or immediate community.

Homes for the aging experienced some administrative and financial difficulties. Old Age Assistance and Old Age Survivors Ins. provisions of the Soc. Security Act of 1935 (later extended and repeatedly amended) aided many in making payments toward cost of their care but also increased the possibilities for indep. living and for postponing applications for institutionalized care until the aging are in need of specialized and expensive nursing care. Few homes for the aging had been built and equipped or were well enough supported to provide specialized and expensive care or to expand facilities. Many proprietary nursing homes mushroomed; but without charitable contributions and tax exemption they tended to provide only substandard care. Fed. and state legislatures made provision for payment of extended medical care and est. standards for licensing, medical care, and soc. services that help prevent exploitation. Increased life span and corresponding increase in the aging population multiplied the need not for facilities and services but also for suitable and sufficient housing within the means of an aging and infirm population. Governmentally encouraged urban renewal housing programs included many apartments geared to the needs and income of aging couples; loans and grants were made through FHA and the Community Facilities Administration to voluntary and pub. groups to help meet housing and nursery care needs.

Surveys indicate that most older people prefer to remain in their own home as long as possible rather than in housing projects restricted to people of their own age, that four fifths of people over 65 are completely able to live independently in ordinary housing in the community, that more good housing would meet the needs of these aging better than institutions, and that special housing should emphasize community life.

The modern home for the aged has been converting its facilities to include nursing care and to enrich services by providing alternatives to institutional living either by direct extension of its services or by referral to and use of other agencies and new services. Alternatives that help make early and complete institutionalization unnecessary include:

  1. Counseling and casework services.
  2. Home care programs offering medical, visiting nurse, homemaker, dietary (meals on wheels), and other services.
  3. Golden age clubs.
  4. Friendly visiting services (volunteers).
  5. Day care centers (opportunities for friendship, recreation, hobbies).
  6. Foster home family care.
  7. Home remodeling or renovation geared to the needs and incomes of the aging and infirm.

Implications of this philos. are widely recognized. Largely relieved of the fear of lack of care in illnesses or emergencies, the aging and infirm now seek to stay near their families or friends and in their own familiar environment, to remain as normally active and useful as possible, and, if Christian, to enjoy the fellowship of their home cong. and own pastoral care. Communities and chs. try to retain the services, experience, capacities, and wisdom of the aging and infirm.

Sound professional consultation is essential for organizations planning new facilities and programming. A growing body of experience and knowledge, rapid urban and rural pop. changes, and new and changing criteria and developments in the building and service field require careful consideration. Voluntary and govt. agencies and organizations engaged in studies, in programming and standard setting, and in the production of materials available to those interested in services to the aging and infirm have included the Nat. Council on the Aging, the Am. Assoc. of Homes for the Aging, the Am. Pub. Welfare Assoc., the Committee on Aging of the A. M. A., the Dept. of Health, Educ., and Welfare, the U. S. Pub. Health Service, and the President's Council on Aging. Most of them have counterparts at regional, state, and local levels. AHB

Sources of further information include the U. S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, 330 Independence Ave., S. W., Washington, DC 20201; Board for social Ministry Services, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, 1333 S. Kirkwood Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122; Lutheran Council in the U. S. (A.), 315 Park Ave. South, New York, New York 10010; The American Lutheran Church, 422 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis, MN 55415; Lutheran Church in America, 231 Madison Ave., New York, New York 10016; Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 3512 W. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53208; American Nursing Home Association, 1025 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 607, Washington, DC 20036.


(3d or 4th c.). Venerated in E and W Catholicism as a Roman virgin martyr and model of purity. See also Persecution of Christians, 4; Symbolism, Christian, 4.

Agnew, Eliza

(February 2, 1807—June 14, 1883). B. New York, New York; Presb.; arrived at Jaffna, Ceylon, 1840, as ABCFM miss.; d. Manepay, Ceylon.


(from Gk. for “to be ignorant of”). 1. Sect of the 4th c. that questioned the omniscience of God or limited it to the present. 2. Sect of the 6th c. that held on the basis of Mk 13:32 and Jn 11:34 that there were things that the human soul of Christ did not know. Cf. FC SD VIII 75.


(from Gk. for “not to know”). Term perhaps first used by T. H. Huxley* 1869 on the basis of Acts 17:23 and applied to the belief that certain knowledge in a particular field, (e.g., religion, or in gen. has not been attained. In religion, agnosticism holds that certain knowledge of the existence and nature of God and knowledge of immortality and of the supernatural world in gen. has not been reached and is unknowable or at least probably unknowable. Related to skepticism.* See also Spencer, Herbert.

Agnus Dei

(Lat. “Lamb of God”). 1. A prayer to Christ that occurs 3 times in the rite of the W. Ch. It is first sung in the Gloria in excelsis (with the additional address “Son of the Father” inserted after “O Lamb of God”). Since the 7th c. it has been sung after the consecration as a prayer to Christ present in His body and blood in the Sacrament of the Altar. Since the 10th and 11th cents.. it was sung 3 times, with “grant us Thy peace” replacing the 3d “have mercy upon us,” the latter change perhaps in accommodation to giving the kiss* of peace at this point or to the calamities the ch. was suffering. In the 11th c. the words “grant them peace” came to be used in RC requiems* as the 2d part of each line, with the 3d petition ending “everlasting peace.” In line with their denial of the sacramental* union the later Eng. reformers omitted the Agnus Dei from the Communion rite in the 1552 and later eds. of the Book* of Common Prayer. It was restored in the 1929 Scottish Liturgy but not in the 1928 American Book. The opening words “O Christ” in the Luth. rite are not an integral part of the prayer but were added 1528 in J. Bugenhagen's* Brunswick ch. order perhaps partly to meet the demands of the musical setting.

2. In Christian art, a representation of Christ as a lamb. Forms include a lamb lying (signifying suffering), in some cases on the Book of Seven Seals; standing and holding a white (symbolizing innocence) Banner of Victory (sometimes the banner is in the form of a pennant, and sometimes it bears a black or, if the symbol is in color, red cross) attached to a cruciform staff; standing on a hill from which flow 4 rivers (of Paradise, or signifying the 4 Gospels); in the center of a cross, with symbols of the 4 Evangelists at the ends of the 4 arms of the cross; standing, sometimes simply with a chalice, sometimes wounded, holding a cruciform staff and with blood flowing from its body, in some cases into a chalice; resting on a manger, representing the infant Jesus. A 3-ray nimbus* indicates that it is a symbol of God. Scripture background: Gn 2:10; 14; Ex 12; Is 53:6–7; Jn 1:29, 36; 1 Co 5:7; Rv 5.

3. In RCm, a sacramental* (in the derived sense) in the form of a molded wax medallion with the figure of a lamb; the pope blesses it in the 1st yr. of his pontificate and at 7-yr. intervals thereafter. The custom is variously dated from the 4th to the 14th cents.

4. In E Orthodox chs., a cloth embroidered with the figure of a lamb and used to cover the chalice in Communion.

5. In Anglicanism, an anthem or liturgical prayer beginning “(O) Lamb of God.” ACP, LP

See also Ambrosian Music.

Agobard of Lyons

(ca. 769/779–840). B. Sp.; abp. Lyons 816; opposed Louis* I and approved his deposition 833. Agobard was deposed 835 because he opposed schemes of the empress; reinstated 837/838. Works include writings against adoptionism,* liturgical speculations of Amalarius* of Metz, verbal inspiration, image worship, belief in witchcraft* and magic,* and trial by ordeal.

J. A. Cabaniss, Agobard of Lyons: Churchman and Critic (Syracuse, New York, 1953); E. Boshof, Erzbischof Agobard von Lyon, Kölner historische Abhandlungen, xvii (Cologne, 1969).


RC fraternity founded in Rome, It., ca. 1582/86 by Camillus de Lellis (1550–1614; b. Rome); given final approval 1591; popular name: Camillians; official name: Order of Clerics Regular, Servants of the Sick. Ministers to sick and dying.


Technical term for supposed sayings of Jesus that are not written in the attested MSS of the canonical Gospels. See also Apocrypha, C 2.

E. Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, ed. W. Schneemelcher, 2 vols. (Tübingen, 1959, 1964), Eng. tr. ed. R. M. Wilson (Philadelphia, 1963, 1965).

Agreed Statement of the Church of South India and the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India.

Statements on (1) the relation of doctrinal and confessional statements to the being of the ch.; (2) the Law and the Gospel; (3) the doctrine of election; (4) the Lord's Supper; (5) the ch. and the ministry. Adopted 1949–59. See also Church of South India; India, 14, 16.

Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirchenzeitung, X, 7 April 1, 1956), 128; Agreed Statements: The C. S. I.-Lutheran Theological Conversations 1948–1959 (Bangalore, 1960); Concordia Theological Monthly, XXX, 8 (August 1959), 610–614.

Agricola, Johann(es)

(Latinized from Schneider, Schnitter, Sneider; ca. 1494–1566). B. Eisleben (hence also called Islebius); educ. Leipzig and Wittenberg; kept minutes of Leipzig* Debate 1519; sent by Luther 1525 to help reform Frankfurt am Main; taught at Eisleben 1525, U. of Wittenberg 1536; court preacher Brandenburg 1540. Helped write Augsburg Interim.* See also Antinomian Controversy; Hymnody, Christian, 5; Lutheran confessions, B 2; Musculus, Andreas.

G. Kawerau, Johann Agricola von Eisleben (Berlin, 1881).

Agricola, Martin

(Ger. name: Sore, or Sohr; probably 1486–1556). B. Schwiebus, Brandenburg; cantor at cathedral school, Magdeburg, ca. 1527. Wrote works important for the hist. of music in the Reformation period. See also Dressier, Gallus.

Agricola, Mikael

(originally Mikael Olofsson; Torsbius; Torsbyus; ca. 1510–57). B. Torsby section of Perna, Fin.; secy. of M. Skytte; educ. Wittenberg, Ger., 1536–39; rector cathedral school Turku (Aabo), Fin.; coadjutor 1548 ordained bp. of Turku 1554 by bp. of Strangnas, Swed. regarded as creator of Fin. literary language; staunch follower of Luther; furthered planting of Lutheranism in Fin. The Agricola-Luther Verein promotes Reformation studies. Works include an ABC book; catechism; prayer book; tr. of NT and ca. one fourth of OT into Fin. See also Finland, Lutheranism in, 2.

J. Gummerus, Michael Agricola, der Reformator Finnlands (Helsinki, 1941).

Agricola, Rudolf

(Huisman[n]; Huusman; Huysman[n]; Rodolphus; Rudolph; Roelof; Rudolf von Groningen; ca. 1443/44–1485). Humanist; b. Baflo, near Groningen, Neth.; educ. Erfurt, Cologne, Louvain, Pavia, Ferrara; scholar, painter, musician; active successively in Dillingen, Groningen, Brussels; lectured at Heidelberg; grasp of languages included Fr., Gk., Heb. Works include De inventione dialectica; De formando studio. See also Humanism, Sixteenth-Century German; Reformed Churches, 2.

Agricola, Stephan

(Castenbauer, Castenpauer; Kastenbauer; perhaps 1491–1547). B. Abensberg, Lower Bav.; educ. Bologna, Venice, and Vienna; imprisoned 1522–24 for ev. preaching; pastor at St. Anna, Augsburg, 1525; espoused Luth. reformation; preacher in Hof (in Bav.) 1531, Sulzbach 1543, Eisleben 1545; took part in Colloquy of Marburg 1529, in the meeting of Luth. theologians at Schmalkalden 1537; signed Schmalkaldic Articles.

Agrippa von Nettesheim, Henry Cornelius

(1486–1535). B. Cologne, Ger.; educ. Cologne and Paris; attended Council of Pisa* 1511 as theol. of Emp. Maximilian; became interested in Reformation ca. 1518 but felt that Luther was too radical; influenced by Wessel* (Gansfort) and Nicholas* of Cusa; espoused relativism* and skepticism*; opposed scholasticism* and veneration of saints and relics. Works include De incertudine et vanitate scientiarum et artium; De occulta philosophia.

H. Morley, The Life of Henry Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim (London, 1856); R. Stadelmann, Vom Geist des ausgehenden Mittelalters (Halle, 1929).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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