Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ecclesiological, Ecclesiastical, Ecclesial

As I gear up for a possible re-entry into academia and have been thinking through research possibilities, I came across a syllabus from Bryan Stone wherein a footnote clarifies the distinction between three terms that I've wondered about in the past. I'm putting it here for my own future reference, but also because others might appreciate the distinctions:

Ecclesiological: “of or relating to the understanding, doctrine, or concept of the church”  
(e.g. “Church architecture has enormous ecclesiological significance.”)

Ecclesiastical: “of or relating to the church as an established institution” 
(e.g., “Our church follows an ecclesiastical calendar.”)

Ecclesial: “of or relating to the church or to the church's nature” 
(e.g., “Christian existence is ecclesial existence.”)

There. Now we know.

The difference between ecclesiological, ecclesiastical, ecclesial, ecclesiastes, ecclesia, ecclesiology, ecclesiologist


  1. Thank you! Inquiring minds wanted to know! Particularly mine.

  2. Just googled this question to make sure of the distinction, and your page popped right up- exactly the info I needed!

  3. Thanks for posting this. I looked thru Google for 15-20min and couldn't find anything that made the difference clear. This did.