A denomination is a sub-group of a religion. For example, Catholicism is a denomination. Christianity is a religion. The Christian Reformed Church is a denomination. Again Christianity is a religion.

Thus, all those people who refer to Primitive Baptist or Presbyterian as religions are wrong.

Scold them.

A denomination can be distinguished from a sect, in that it co-exists with other religious bodies and does not define the world outside the group as evil or at least highly suspect. A denomination is also distinguished from a church in the academic study of religion, in that the latter is a state-sponsored religion. The term "church", used this way, is confusing to many in the USA, since this country does not have an established church. Recommended reading: Ernst Troeltsch's works.

De*nom`i*na"tion (?), n. [L. denominatio metonymy: cf. F. d'enomination a naming.]

1. The act of naming or designating.

2. That by which anything is denominated or styled; an epithet; a name, designation, or title; especially, a general name indicating a class of like individuals; a category; as, the denomination of units, or of thousands, or of fourths, or of shillings, or of tons.

Those [qualities] which are classed under the denomination of sublime. Burke.

3. A class, or society of individuals, called by the same name; a sect; as, a denomination of Christians.

Syn. -- Name; appellation; title. See Name.

 

© Webster 1913.

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