Christian Cyclopedia

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Acacian Schism.

Schism (484–519) bet. Rome and the E in the Monophysite* Controversy. See also Acacius of Constantinople; Dioscorus (d. 530); Hormisdas.

Acacius of Beroea

(ca. 322–after 433). Gk. ch. father; b. perhaps Syria; abbot and (378) bp. Beroea (modern Aleppo), NW Syria; adherent of Meletius* of Antioch; took part in all major ch. controversies 360–433; opposed John Chrysostom* at the Synodus ad quercum* but helped to have Chrysostom's name reentered posthumously on the diptychs*; took a mediating position in the controversy that swirled around Nestorius.*

Acacius of Caesarea

(d. ca. 366). Succeeded Eusebius* of Caesarea as bp. Caesarea; homoean Arian (held that the Son is like the Father but not necessarily in essence; see Homoios); deposed ca. 343 by Council of Sardica*; proposed Arian creed at Council of Seleucia* 359; drew up acts of Arian syn. at Constantinople 360. Followers called Acacians. Works exist only in fragments.

Jerome, letters and De viris illustribus, 98; Socrates, HE, ii 4; Epiphanius, Panarion, lxii 6–10.

Acacius of Constantinople

(d. 489). Patriarch of Constantinople; ca. 471/472. Excommunicated 484 for supporting Peter* Mongo, whom he had first condemned; this first with Rome led to the Acacian* Schism. See also Henoticon.

Acarie, Barbe

(Marie de l'Incarnation; 1566–1618). B. Paris, Fr.; m. Pierre Acarie 1582; helped introd. Span. Discalced Carmelites* into Fr. 1604.


(Lat., from Gk. akathistos sc. [hymnos], “not sitting,” i. e., standing; Akathist). Byzantine liturgical hymn or office, sung standing, in honor of Mary, another saint, or Christ. Esp. a certain hymn of 24 stanzas (each beginning with a different letter of the Gk. alphabet) based on the gospel accounts of Christ's birth; written perhaps by Sergius* (d. 638) or Germanos* I.


(pron. a-CHEN-tus). The chanting of parts of a liturgical service by the officiant. The counterpart chant of the cong. is called concentus. The melodic variations in chanting are governed by traditional rules. See also Psalm Tones.


Term taken from Roman law by J. Duns* Scotus to denote an atonement, not because it is in itself an equivalent but because God determines to accept it as such.


That which does not exist by itself essentially but subsists in another self-existent essence, e.g., original sin (FC Ep I 23; SD I 23; SD I 21, 54). See also Sin, Original.


(accidie). See Acedia.


(1) Term first used in good faith by mystical interpreters of Scripture to indicate that certain passages of Scripture conveyed higher thoughts than mere literal expressions exhibited. (2) Socinian writers used it to denote the equivocal character supposed to inhere in sacred writers. (3) More recently it was applied to OT quotations in the NT which seemed quoted out of context (e.g., Mt 2:15, 17–18; 3:3; 8:17; 13:35). (4) It also designates a rationalistic theory acc. to which Christ accommodated Himself to mental conditions and errors of the times. (5) In RCm the Accommodation Controversy raged in 17th and 18th c. because Jesuits* permitted converts in China and India to continue pagan practices, claiming these to be harmless accommodations. See also China, 6; Nobili, Robert(o) de; Popes, 24. (6) In evolutionary hypotheses it is applied to the adjustments that an organism is held to achieve or perfect in the lifetime of an individual.


(accidia; accidie; Gk. akedia). Sloth; ennui; indifference or repugnance to worship; considered one of the Seven deadly sins. Cf. Aristotle, Ethics, iv; LC I 99. See also Sins, Venial and Mortal.

Achad Haam

(Asher Ginzberg, 1856–1927). B. in Ukraine; founder of cultural Zionism.

Achelis, Hans

(1865–1937). B. Bremen; Ger.; prof. Köenigsberg, Halle, Bonn, Leipzig; did extensive research on life and art in early ch. Chief work: Die Katakomben von Neapel (1936). His father, Ernst Christian (1838–1912), taught homiletics and practical theol. at Marburg.

Achenbach, Wilhelm

(October 6, 1831–February 24, 1899). B. Darmstadt, Hesse, Ger.; grad. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; pastor Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1859; asst. prof. Ft. Wayne, Indiana, 1863; pastor Venedy, Illinois, 1871 and St. Louis (Carondelet), 1883.

Ackermann, Carl

(September 12, 1858–June 7, 1943). B. Wooster, Ohio; educ. Capital U. and Theol. Sem., (Bexley) Columbus, Ohio; held various pastorates in Ohio; pres., later prof., Lima (Ohio) Coll.; pres. Pacific Sem., Olympia, Washington; prof. Capital U.


(Gk. “sleepless”). E order of monks, founded by Abbot Alexander (ca. 350–ca. 430); observed strict poverty, abstained from manual work, did miss. work, and, by dividing into three choirs, had 24-hour-a-day psalmody.

Acontius, James

(d. ca. 1567). B. It.; became Prot.; fled to Basel; came to Zurich, where he assoc. with B. Ochino*; to London 1559; mem. Dutch cong. in Austin-Friars. Wrote esp. in area of Christian life (understood fides as fiducia). Tried to unify Prots. by insisting that only errors in doctrines essential for salvation were heresies.

Acosta, José de

(Josephus; ca. 1539–1600). B. Medina del Campo, Sp.; Jesuit 1551; miss. to Peru 1571; provincial of his order 1576–81; theol. adviser to the council of Lima 1582; returned to Sp. 1587; imprisoned 1591–93 for opposition to C. Aquaviva*; superior of the Jesuits at Valladolid 1594; rector of the Jesuit coll. at Salamanca 1598. Works include Historia naturally y moral de las Indias (Eng. tr., Natural and Moral History of the Indies); De procuranda salute Indorum libri sex; De Christo revelato libri novem; De temporibus novissimi libri quatuor.

Acrelius, Israel

(1714–1800). B. and educ. Swed.; provost* of the Swed. chs. along the Delaware and pastor at Ft. Christina (Wilmington, Delaware) 1749–55/56. Recalled to Swed.; pastor Fellingsbro, diocese of Västeras. Wrote Description of the Former and Present Condition of the Swedish Churches in What Was Called New Sweden (Stockholm, 1759). A friend of H. M. Mühlenberg, he defended him and his coworkers. See also Parlin, Olaus; Reynolds, William Morton.

Acta apostolicae sedis.

Official pub. of the papal see; formerly Acta sanctae sedis, privately pub. since 1865; made official by Pius X (see Popes, 30), 1904; renamed 1909.

Acta Historico-Ecclesiastica.

Journal pub. at Weimar 1734–56; gives information on contemporary Luth. beginnings in Am.

Acta martyrum.

Accounts of the trial and death of early martyrs; circulated and often read on their birthdays. Early Acta include those dealing with Polycarp,* Justin* Martyr, the Scillitan* Martyrs, and Felicity* and Perpetua.* Beginning with the 4th c., records of martyrs were collected in calendaria (names of martyrs, later with biographical and other material, in calendar form for liturgical use) and martyrologia (more detailed memorial books for private devotion and instruction). The martyrology of Ado,* compiled from a spurious source in 858, influenced the martyrology of Usuard,* issued 1584 by Gregory* XIII.

Acta sanctorum.

Multivol. ed. of lives of the saints, in pub. since 1643 by Belg. Jesuit scholars called Bollandists* after J. de Bolland.* See also Roswede, Heribert.


FC SD VII 85: “Noting has the character of a sacrament apart from the use instituted by Christ, or apart from the divinely instituted action.” The context (83–87) describes the whole process involved in the celebration of d Lord's Supper, including the setting apart of the elements, the consecration, the distribution, the reception, and the eating and drinking. See also Action Sermon.

Action Sermon.

The Pre-Communion sermon in the Scot. Presb. ch., the Lord's Supper being termed the action.*


In philos. and religion, the view that action, esp. spiritual activity, is the essence of reality; found in Aristotle's* conception of divinity, G. W. v. Leibniz,* J. G. Fichte,* M. Blondel*; usually opposed to intellectual conceptions of truth; found expression in pragmatism,* modernism,* Social* Gospel. The word has been extended to apply to any philos. or theol. that emphasizes activity. See also Eucken, Rudolf Christoph.

Act of Toleration.

Act passed by the Eng. parliament (1689) relieving the legal disabilities of Prot. dissenters and protecting their worship; restricted the laws passed under Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I, and Charles II. Papists and anti-Trinitarians were excepted from the act. See also England, C 2, 15; Roman Catholic Church, D 9.

Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg-

(1834–1902). B. Naples; It.; RC; pupil of J. J. I. v. Döllinger*; influenced by L. v. Ranke*; friend of W. E. Gladstone*; active in Brit. govt.; opposed ultramontanism* and papal infallibility*; tried to est. Ref. Catholicism in England. Helped found English Historical Review; coordinated production of The Cambridge Modern History.

Actus dilectionis.

In scholastic theol., an act of love to God elicited by natural reason (Ap IV 9).

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

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