Definition of Presbyterianism in English:



mass noun
  • A form of Protestant Church government in which the Church is administered locally by the minister with a group of elected elders of equal rank, and regionally and nationally by representative courts of ministers and elders.

    • ‘When we saw the state of the church decline here we thought: we have a debt to Scotland, because Presbyterianism was born there.’
    • ‘In my childhood days the island was a stronghold of Presbyterianism, and Sundays were for church-going and staying in; you'd even lock up your chickens to prevent them doing anything scandalous on the sabbath.’
    • ‘They believe such a narrow definition of marriage is an extreme that's at odds with the true spirit of Presbyterianism.’
    • ‘Having officially disposed of Presbyterianism in the Scottish church, Middleton began to look for ways of destroying his political enemies.’
    • ‘This promised aid to the English Parliament on the condition that Presbyterianism would be made the religion of the United Kingdom.’
    • ‘In England the Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England but when she crosses the border she automatically converts to Presbyterianism.’
    • ‘And in particular, by engaging lay people as well as ordained ministers in the government of the Church, Presbyterianism prepared the people for participatory democracy.’
    • ‘In the past many British governments have been essentially secular, with deference to Anglicanism / Presbyterianism as a part of our history and culture, rather than as anything essential to our modern way of thinking.’
    • ‘By 1914, even Scottish Presbyterianism had accepted critical methods.’
    • ‘According to these writers, Presbyterianism was irredeemably un-Scottish, and national regeneration could only come about when Scotland became once more a Catholic as well as a Celtic nation.’
    • ‘Contrary to the intentions of the legislators, however, the laws had the effect of consolidating allegiance to Catholicism and Presbyterianism and intensifying the existing divisions in society.’
    • ‘But though men like Selden were in power, and Presbyterianism had not triumphed, it had also not conclusively been defeated: some clergymen still wanted to see a national Presbyterian church.’
    • ‘Certainly, the country's 20th century establishment has tended to regard Presbyterianism as un-Scottish, even treacherously anti-Scottish.’
    • ‘It's like Presbyterianism and Industrial Socialism doesn't exist anymore.’
    • ‘He helped draw up the National Covenant in support of Presbyterianism, and fought in both Bishops' wars against Charles I.’
    • ‘It is also absurd to suggest that the reunion of almost all Scottish Presbyterianism in 1929 had anything to do with ‘the rise of Socialism’.’
    • ‘The influence of Presbyterianism might be fading but this kind of thing is not everyone's cup of tea.’
    • ‘Mainstream Presbyterianism has a democratic structure, electing its leader or moderator every year.’

Presbyterianism was first introduced in Geneva in 1541 under John Calvin, in the belief that it best represented the pattern of the early church. There are now many Presbyterian Churches (often called Reformed Churches) worldwide, notably in the Netherlands and Scotland and in countries with which they have historic links (including the United States and Northern Ireland). They typically subscribe (more or less strictly) to the Westminster Confession