Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


(Shavuos; Shavuot; Shavuoth). See Judaism, 4.

Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3d Earl of

(1671–1713). “Lord Ashley” 1683–99; moral philos.; freethinker.* B. London, Eng.; educ. by J. Locke* et al.; remained in Angl. ch.; opposed scholasticism* and enthusiasm*; tried to est. an ethic indep. of revelation. Collected treatises pub. as Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times. See also Deism, III 4.

Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of

(1801–85). “Lora Ashley” 1811–51; philanthronist; soc. and industrial reformer; leader of the evangelical movement in the Ch. of Eng., opposing both ritualism and rationalism. B. London, Eng.; educ. Harrow and Christ Ch., Oxford; became earl 1851. See also Charities, Christian, 5


1. Popular name of “The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing,” or “The Millennial Church,” a communistic sect also known as Alethians (from Gk. aletheia, “truth”). Originated in a Quaker revival in Eng. 1747; mems. called “Shaking Quakers” or “Shakers” because of their movements during religious excitement; joined 1758 by A. Lee* ca. 1757/58. Regarded celibacy as more perfect than marriage. To escape persecution, A. Lee led a small group to Am. 1774; settled at Niskeyuna, now Watervliet, near Troy, New York First soc. organized 1787 Mount Lebanon, near New Lebanon, New York Miss. work in the 1st half of the 19th c. extended the soc. to Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana; membership is said to have reached ca. 5,000; decline began ca. 1860.

2. Teachings. God is dual, male and female. Christ is not God, but the highest spirit, and dual, incarnate in Jesus (male) and A. Lee (female). Jesus and A. Lee are to be loved and honored (or respected), but not worshiped. Other tenets included communism, celibacy, non-resistance and non-participation in war, perfectionism, spiritism, insistence on pub. confession. Shakers rejected Trin., atonement, physical resurrection, final judgment, eternal damnation.

3. Community govt. was vested in 4 elders (2 men, 2 women). Services included addresses, hymns and anthems, and rhythmic marching. Sexes kept apart at table and worship.

Shakespeare, John Howard

(1857–1928). Brit. Bap. preacher; pastor Norwich; secy. Baptist* Union of Gt. Brit. and Ireland 1898; leader in founding Bap. World Alliance (see Union Movements, 10) and Fed. Council of Ev. Free Chs. (see Free Church Federal Council). Works include The Churches at the Cross-Roads; A United Free Church of England; Baptist and Congregational Pioneers.

Shakespeare, William

(Shakspere; many other variants; 1564–1616). Dramatist, poet; b. Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Eng.; actor-playwright London 1592; bought New Place in Stratford 1597 but lived mainly in London till 1610; he and his children were bap. Angl.; he was buried in an Angl. ch., Stratford; but the question of his religious conviction and practice remains unanswered. Plays include The Comedy of Errors; The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet; The Merchant of Venice; The Tragedy of Julius Caesar; The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; The Tragedy of King Lear; The Tragedy of Macbeth.

R. M. Frye, Shakespeare and Christian Doctrine (Princeton, New Jersey, 1963).


Animistic cult of Ural-Altaic people of N. Asia and Eur. and of Eskimo and Am. Indian tribes. Named after Tungus term shaman for the priest-doctor, or medicine man, who heals the sick, divines the unknown, controls spirits, averts evil, accomplishes good, etc. by magic. Conjuring, trance, incantation, and use of drums are common in shamanism. In Korea shamanism is also called Sinkyo; the shaman is called pan-su. See also Korea, 4.


(fl. 1st c. BC). Rabbi; in tradition usually assoc. with Hillel* I; took a rigorous stand in religious and moral matters; mem. Sanhedrin.


(Shankara; Sankara; ca. 788–ca. 820/822). Hindu philos.; probably b. Malabar, India; advocated strict monism.* Works include commentaries on Vedanta philos. (see Brahmanism, 4).


(sastras; shasters; Skt. “instruction”). Sacred books of the Hindus (see Hinduism). Often grouped in 4 classes: 4 Vedas, 4 Upa-vedas, 6 Ved-angas, 4 Up-angas. The 1st Up-anga includes the 18 Puranas, the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata; the 2d and 3d Up-angas consist of the main works on metaphysics and logic; the 4th Up-anga consists of the law. See also Sacred Literature.


(Shavuot; Shavuoth; Shabuoth). See Judaism, 4.

Shaw, Barnabas

(ca. 1793–1857). B. Elloughton, near Hull, Eng.; became Meth.; preacher; 1st Wesleyan miss. to S. Afr. 1816; worked esp. in Little Namaqualand.*

Shaw, George Bernard

(1856–1950). Journalist; art, music, and dramatic critic; dramatist; b. Dublin, Eire; to London ca. 1876; exponent of socialism. Works include The Quintessence of Ibsenism; Back to Methuselah; Saint Joan; The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism, and Fascism.

Sheatsley, Clarence Valentine

(November 25, 1873–January 19, 1943). Son of William Sheatsley; b. Paris, Ohio; educ. Capital U., coll. and sem. (Ev. Luth. Theol. Sem.), Columbus, Ohio, and Erlangen (Ger.) U.; ordained 1900. Pastor Pennsylvania and Ohio. ALC miss. ex. Works include Our Mission Field in India (Ger. title Unsere Mission in Indien); History of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States.

Sheatsley, Jacob

(June 20, 1859–August 31, 1953). Son of John Frederick Sheatsley; b. Paris, Ohio; educ. Capital U., Columbus, Ohio, and German* Theol. Sem. of the Gen. Syn., Chicago, Illinois; ordained 1887; pastor Ohio. Ed. Lutheran Standard 1915–29. Other works include Sermons on the Eisenach Gospels; The Bible in Religious Education; S. S. literature.

Shedd, William Greenough Thayer

(1820–94). Presb. educator; b. Acton, Massachusetts; educ. U. Vermont (at Burlington) and Andover (Massachusetts) Theol. Sem. Pastor Brandon, Vermont, 1844–45; NYC 1862–63. Prof. U. Vermont 1845–52; Auburn (New York) Theol. Sem. 1852–53; Andover 1855–62; Union Theol. Sem., NYC, 1863–74. Opposed higher* criticism. Works include A History of Christian Doctrine; Dogmatic Theology.

Sheeleigh, Matthias

(December 29, 1821–July 15, 1900). B. Charlestown [Charleston?], Chester Co., Pennsylvania Educ. Pennsylvania Coll., Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Lutheran Theol. Sem., Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Pastor New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey Dir. Lutheran Theol. Sem., Gettysburg. Ed. and coed. of several periodicals; author; poet.

Sheldon, Charles Monroe

(1857–1946). B. Wellsville, New York; educ. Brown U., Providence, Rhode Island, and Andover (Massachusetts) Theol. Sem.; ordained Cong. 1886. Pastor Waterbury, Vermont, 1886–89; Topeka, Kansas, 1889–1912, 1915–19. Minister-at-large 1912–15. Exponent of social* gospel. Works include In His Steps.

Shem hammephorash

(from Heb. shem, “name,” and parash, “distinguished”). Term used by Jews in the Middle Ages to designate the tetragrammaton (Gk. “four-lettered”; specifically the Heb. divine name JHVH), commonly pronounced “Jehovah” by Christians, but not by Jews.

Shem hammephorash is a cabalistic term (see Cabala) which is not, but only represents, a real word of power, the use of which is said to have made possible the performance of many wonderful works. The exact meaning of the term is not known. M. Luther used the term in Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (WA 53, 573–648).

Shepard, Thomas

(ca. 1605–49). B. Towcester, S Northhamptonshire, Eng.; to Am. 1635; pastor Newtown (now Cambridge), Massachusetts; friend of J. Harvard*; helped est. Harvard coll., Cambridge; diary describes colonial life.

Sherlock Thomas

(1678–1761). B. London, Eng.; educ. Eton and Cambridge; master of Catherine Hall, Cambridge, and vice-chancellor of the U. 1714; dean Chichester 1715; canon Norwich 1719; bp. Bangor 1728; Salisbury 1734, London 1748. Advocated a measure of indep. for the ch.; opposed deism.* Works include The Tryal of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus.


(from Arab. shi'ah, “following; sect”). Mems. of Shi'a, one of the 2 major branches of Islam.* The main difference bet. them and the other major branch (Sunnites*) is the Shi'ite belief that the imamate (or caliphate; see also Imam) is hereditary, not elective, that it belonged to Ali, Muhammad's* son-in-law, and his descendants, and that all others who claim the office, including abu-Bakr,* are usurpers.

Shi'ites are found throughout the Muslim world. They comprise 3 main groups: (1) Zaidites (named after Zaid, a grandson of Ali's son Husain) form the majority in Yemen (see Middle East, L 2). (2) Most Ismailis (named after Isma'il, son of Ja'far, the 6th imam; also called Seveners because they believe in 7 imams and the figure 7 is prominent also in other connections in their beliefs) are Khodjas (or neo-Ismailis) and are in India; other Ismaili groups include Assassins* (or Nizaris), Babists (see Bahaism), Carmathians (or Qarmatians; founded 9th c.; flourished in Middle Ages as a communistic secret soc.). (3) The creed of the Twelvers (so called because they believe in 12 imams) was est. as state religion in Iran 1502.


1. Ancient native religion of Japan. The word Shinto was coined from Chinese Mandarin for “way of the gods” (Jap. colloquial equivalent: kami-no-michi) to distinguish it from Buddhism.* Primitive Shinto was crude polytheistic nature worship of things called kami (Jap. “above; superior”) that were dreaded and revered (e.g., various ancient deities of heaven [e.g., sun-goddess] and earth and their spirits; human beings [mikados]; rain, thunder, wind; plants, trees, mountains, seas; echo; animals including dragon, fox, tiger, wolf, birds. The oldest surviving documents of Shinto are Kojiki* (712 AD) and Nihongi (720 AD), but they are not sacred books in the common sense. Shinto has no supreme deity. The creator pair appears in the 7th generation of gods, when a male kami, Izanagi (”male who invites”), and a female kami, Izanami (”female who invites”), procreated the islands of Jap. and many gods and goddesses, including Amaterasu,* most eminent of Shinto deities and whose seat is at Ise.

2. Ancestor* worship was imported from China to Jap.

3. The gods are, as a rule, considered to be beneficent, thought they may cause illness and misfortune if their worship is neglected. On the other hand, the aid of the gods is sought as protection against plagues and disasters.

4. The emp. (or mikado; see also 1) came to be regarded as a descendant of Amaterasu and as the only “incarnate god.” See also 9.

5. Shrines are simple, usually unpainted, wooden structures. Before them are torii (Jap. “bird residence”): gateways consisting of 2 uprights with a straight crosspiece near the top and a concave (ends curve upward) crosspiece at the top; both crosspieces (upper slightly longer than lower) extend beyond the uprights.

The spiritual emanation, or spiritual double of a deity is called mitama. The mitama has as its special place of residence the shintai, or god-body (e.g., a sword, stone, mirror, or other material object), which is usually in a shrine and usually in a box that is rarely or never opened.

6. Shinto has rituals and a hereditary priesthood; the emp. was chief priest (see 9); celibacy is not enjoined on priests, who wear distinctive dress only when engaged in worship. There is no cong. worship. Priests serve at local shrines only on special occasions, but worshipers may come at any time. Worship includes obeisance, handclaps. Formerly offerings of food, drink, and fabrics were made; in process of substitution these came to be replaced by gohei (wands with white paper strips attached as representations of the fabric formerly offered).

7. Shinto has no code of ethics; each one's heart tells him what he should do. Dirt is considered disrespectful of the deities; preliminaries to worship include bathing and putting on clean clothes. There is no sense of sin in the Christian sense, consequently no corresponding idea of forgiveness and redemption. Teachings regarding life beyond the grave are vague; there is no teaching regarding heaven and hell.

8. Shinto was absorbed by Buddhism ca. the 9th c. in a system called Ryobu (or Ryobu Shinto), more Buddhist than Shinto. Near the end of the 18th c. a reaction in favor of Shinto set in, leading to restoration 1868 of imperial power, which had been eclipsed since ca. 1300 by feudal lords called shoguns (or tycoons). But because it was so barren in ethical teachings, Shinto could not compete seriously with Buddhism. It was divided into State Shinto (patriotic ritual incumbent on all Japanese) and Sect or Religious Shinto and was kept alive mainly by festivals and pilgrimages, of which religion formed only a small part.

9. State Shinto was abolished 1947; the emp. disclaimed divinity. Sect Shinto expanded.

10. Buddhism awakened to new life early in the 20th c. and so encroached on Shinto that it is very hard to differentiate bet. Shintoists and Buddhists in Japan.

See bibliography under Religion, Comparative.


(Shofar; Heb. “trumpet”). Horn used in ancient Israel for battle call and on festivals (cf. Ju 3:27; Am 3:6). Used in synagogues on Day of Atonement.

Shroud of Turin, Holy.

Linen cloth, 14' 3" x 3' 7", claimed by some to be Christ's burial cloth (cf., e.g., Mt 27:59); kept since 1578 in the cathedral of Turin, It.; its hist. cannot be traced beyond mid-14th c. Umberto II (Humbert; 1904–83; b. Racconigi, It.; last king of It.) willed the shroud to the Vatican. In 1988 the RC ch. recognized it as not genuine but only about 700 yrs. old.


(Ger. Festnacht; Fastenabend; Fastenienstag). Three days immediately preceding Ash Wednesday, esp. Shrove Tuesday (also called Mardi Gras [Fr. “fat Tuesday”]). The name is derived from Lat. scribe, “to write,” in the sense of “prescribe,” sc. penance: hence shrive: administer absolution; hear confession. Confession and absolution on these days were thought of as preparation for the proper observance of Lent.

Shrubsole, William

(1759–1829). B. Sheerness, on the Isle of Sheppey, N Kent, Eng.; first a shipwright, then a clerk, then (in London) a bank clerk (or accountant) 1785, finally Secy. to the Committee of the Treasury. During the last 20 yrs. of his life he was a mem. of the Cong. Ch. and active in benevolent and reformatory institutions. Hymnist. Hymns include “When, Streaming from the Eastern Skies.”

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

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online