A catechism ( /ˈkætəkɪzəm/; Ancient Greek: κατηχισμός from kata = "down" + echein = "to sound", literally "to sound down" (into the ears), i.e. to indoctrinate) is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used in Christian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present. Catechisms are doctrinal manuals often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorized, a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well.

Development and usage of systematic catechisms is unique to Western Christianity. Besides some exception, training catechumens in Eastern Christianity is carried out in case by case. As defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 5 (quoting John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi tradendae 18):

Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.

A catechist is one who engages in such religious instruction. Typically, it is a lay minister trained in the art of catechesis. It might also be a pastor or priest, religious teacher, or other individuals in church roles (including a deacon, religious brother or sister, or nun). The primary catechists for children are their parents or communities. A catechumen is one who receives catechetical instruction.

Read more about CatechismTraditional Format, Protestant Catechisms, Catholic Catechisms, Non-Christian Catechisms, Secular Catechisms

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Catholic Doctrine Regarding The Ten Commandments - First Commandment
... to them or serve them." The first commandment according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church The first commandment, according to Church teaching, "means that must worship and adore God alone ... some other god, obeys another commander the world or the flesh or the devil." The Catechism associates this commandment with the three theological virtues ... According to the Catechism, the last virtue, charity, can be met only if Catholics refrain from indifference or ingratitude toward God, and avoid ...
Catholic Doctrine Regarding The Ten Commandments - Seventh Commandment
... not steal." The seventh commandment according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church The Catechism explains that this commandment regulates worldly goods, and forbids ... The Catechism addresses the concept of human stewardship of God's creation in its explanation of the seventh commandment and forbids abuse of animals and ...
Catechism Of A Revolutionary - Criticism
... Critics of anarchism cite the Catechism as the most notorious document in what they take to be the anarchist tradition, arguing that it reflects the innately violent and nihilistic nature of the philosophy ... Scholar Michael Allen Gillespie has hailed the Catechism as "a pre-eminent expression of the doctrine of freedom and negation" that arose in the Fichtean notion of the "Absolute I" that had been concealed in ... of the 20th century Eldridge Cleaver adopted the Catechism as a "revolutionary bible", incorporating it into his daily life to the extent that he employed, in his words, "tactics of ...
Secular Catechisms
... In the past, catechisms were written to rehearse the basic knowledge of a non-religious subject ... Examples include numerous political catechisms published from the 18th to the 20th century in Europe as well as in North and South America ... See also the Catechism of the History of Newfoundland (c1856), the Coal Catechism (1898), and A Catechism of the Steam Engine (1856) ...
Luther's Large Catechism
... Luther's Large Catechism consisted of works written by Martin Luther and compiled Christian canonical texts, published in April 1529 ... Luther's Large Catechism is divided into five parts The Ten Commandments, The Apostles' Creed, The Lord's Prayer, Holy Baptism, and The Sacrament of the Eucharist ... The Large Catechism typifies the emphasis which the churches of the Augsburg Confession placed on the importance of knowledge and understanding of the articles of the Christian faith ...

Famous quotes containing the word catechism:

    Socrates gave no diplomas or degrees, and would have subjected any disciple who demanded one to a disconcerting catechism on the nature of true knowledge.
    —G.M. (George Macaulay)