Christian Cyclopedia

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Nobili, Robert(o) de

(1577–1656). B. Montepulciano. Siena province, Tuscany, (or in Rome?), It.; Jesuit 1597; sent as miss. to India 1604, arrived Goa 1605; worked esp. in Madura; an exponent of missionary adaptation (see Accommodation, 5), be dressed and lived like a sannyasi (Hindu ascetic). Works include hymns; 2 catechisms; a book on doctrine; a life of Mary in Skt. verse. See also India, 9.


(fl. ca. 180–ca. 200). B. probably Smyrna (modern Izmir), W Turkey in Asia; Monarchian; teachings known chiefly from writings of Hippolytus*; allegedly taught patripassianism*; denied doctrine of Logos*; interpreted prologue of John's Gospel allegorically; condemned by syn. of presbyters at Smyrna ca. 200. Followers called Noetians.

Nohrborg, Anders

(1725–67). B. Swed.; educ. Västeraas and Uppsala; ordained 1754; pastor Stockholm 1754; court preacher Stockholm 1765; confessional Luth. influenced by Pietism.* Works include Den fallna människans salighetsordning. See also Sweden, Lutheranism in, 4.

Nollau, Louis Eduard

(1810–69). B. Prussia; educ. Barmen sem. (see Missionary Institutes); sent to Am. 1837 by Rhenish* Miss. Soc. to join other missionaries to Indians; assigned to work near St. Louis, Missouri; Indian project abandoned; served a cong. in Gravois Settlement, near St. Louis; to Afr. via Ger. 1846; returned to Gravois Settlement 1849/50; helped organize German* Ev. Ch. Soc. of the West.


As opposed to realism* and idealism,* it holds that only individual objects have real existence, that “universals” (gen. or abstract ideas) are but names (Lat. nomina); e.g., the gen. idea “tree” does not really exist in itself, only individual trees exist; all trees resemble each other; the mind can consider points of resemblance apart from points of difference, but the idea obtained by abstraction of all common points is only a name and has no indep. existence. Exponents of nominalism include P. Abelard,* G. Durandus* de Sancto Porciano, W. of Ockham,* and Roscellinus.* See also Philosophy.


Ethical or religious principle acc. to which moral conduct is based on observance of law.

Nommensen, Ludwig Ingwer

(February 6, 1834–May 23, 1918). “Apostle of the Batak.” B. of poor parents on is. of Nordstrand, NW Ger.; at 12 vowed on sickbed to become miss.; educ. sem. of Rhenish* Miss. Soc.; to Sumatra 1861; trained missionaries, lay brothers, deaconesses; est. institutions for training teachers and pastors; developed ch. order suited for Asiatics. Works include tr. OT stories and the NT into the language of the natives. See also Bataks.


In the E Ch., a collection of ecclesiastical canons and cicil laws.

Nonchalcedonian Churches.

1. Chs. that reject the Christological definition of the Council of Chalcedon*; sometimes called Oriental Orthodox in distinction from E Orthodox. See also Monophysitism.

2. The Syrian Orthodox Ch. of Antioch (with an archdiocese of the US and Can. and 20 archdioceses in the Middle E) acknowledges the authority of the Orthodox patriarch of Antioch who resides at Damascus. It traces its beginning to 5th-c. Christians in Syria. After the 7th-c. Muslim conquest of Syria it engaged in extensive for. miss. work, as far as China. It reached its zenith in the 12th and 13th c. At the Council of Florence* it was united for several yrs. (1444–53) with the W Ch.

A Syrian Jacobite (see Jacobites, 1) bp. of Jerusalem came to the Malabar Coast of India 1665 and brought the Syrian Christians that had seceded from Rome (see India, 6) under the authority of the patriarch of Antioch. The Mar* Thoma Ch. separated from the Malabar Jacobite group beginning in the 1870s (final appellate court judgment 1889). The Malankarese Uniat Ch. was est. 1930 (see also Malabar Christians). In Syria a rival RC Syrian patriarchate was est. 1783.

In doctrine the Syrian Ch. is similar to the E Orthodox Ch. It accepts the dogmas of the 1st 3 ecumenical councils (see Councils and Synods, 4); believes in 9 choirs of angels, perpetual virginity of Mary, procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father, grace as a quality in the soul, 7 sacraments, baptism by triple immersion; divides the Decalog into 4 and 6 commandments. The honor paid saints is not regarded as worship.

3. The Syrian Orthodox Ch. of Malabar in the US; a small group, mainly in the E states.

4. Tradition links the Armenian Ch. (see Armenia) with the apostles, esp. Thaddaeus-Lebbaeus (Mt 10:3) and Bartholomew. Mass conversion of Armenia took place probably late in the 3d c. Armenian Christians reject Nestorianism,* accept the dogmas of the 1st 3 ecumenical councils and the Henoticon.* RC and E Orthodox efforts to absorb the Armenian Ch. proved futile. The mother see is at Echmiadzin, cen. Armenian SSR Armenian Christians suffered cents. of persecution by Persians, Arabs, and Turks. Their creed reflects the E form of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan; the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father. 6 sacraments are recognized: baptism, chrismation, eucharist, penance, marriage, orders; anointing of sick has fallen into disuse, though retained in service books.

Armenian chs. in Am.: Diocese of the Armenian Ch. of N Am. (under jurisdiction of the see of Echmiadzin); Armenian Apostolic Ch. of Am. (under jurisdiction of the see of Cilicia, Lebanon).

5. Coptic* Ch. immigrants organized the Coptic Assoc. of Am. in NYC 1962. The Diocese of N Am. of the Coptic Orthodox Ch. was est. 1965; HQ Toronto, Ont., Can.

6. The Ethiopian Orthodox Ch. in the USA was est. 1959. See also Ethiopic Church. ACP, EL


In gen., one who does not conform to norms, esp. of an est. ch. See also Dissenter. Other terms: separatist, indep., Congregationalist. More specifically, 1 of many