Definition of Presbyterianism in US English:



  • 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.

    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 US and Northern Ireland)

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Certainly, the country's 20th century establishment has tended to regard Presbyterianism as un-Scottish, even treacherously anti-Scottish.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 England the Queen is Supreme Governor of the Church of England but when she crosses the border she automatically converts to Presbyterianism.’
    • ‘By 1914, even Scottish Presbyterianism had accepted critical methods.’
    • ‘Having officially disposed of Presbyterianism in the Scottish church, Middleton began to look for ways of destroying his political enemies.’
    • ‘The influence of Presbyterianism might be fading but this kind of thing is not everyone's cup of tea.’
    • ‘He helped draw up the National Covenant in support of Presbyterianism, and fought in both Bishops' wars against Charles I.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This promised aid to the English Parliament on the condition that Presbyterianism would be made the religion of the United Kingdom.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘They believe such a narrow definition of marriage is an extreme that's at odds with the true spirit of Presbyterianism.’
    • ‘It's like Presbyterianism and Industrial Socialism doesn't exist anymore.’
    • ‘Mainstream Presbyterianism has a democratic structure, electing its leader or moderator every year.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When we saw the state of the church decline here we thought: we have a debt to Scotland, because Presbyterianism was born there.’