CĘSAROPAPISM: A name applied to the conception of the relations between Church and State which contemplates the secular ruler's exercising spiritual power also. It is thus the converse of the theocratic system which the popes have attempted to carry into effect (i.e., in regard to the world at large, not to their limited states), which also underlies Calvin's teaching as to the relations of Church and State. Its principles are met with as early as 355, when Constantine addressed the Synod at Milan in the words: "Whatever I will, let that be acknowledged as a 'canon' " (Athanasius, Hist. Arian., xxxiii.; NPNF, 2d ser., iv. 281). It developed more rapidly in the Eastern Church because of the absence of the counterpoise which the papacy formed in the West. Justinian may be regarded as a typical representative of it; but the Church managed during the iconoclastic controversy to free itself in a large measure from imperial dictation. Since that time the term has not borne any strict application, though it is sometimes applied in a modified sense to the position of the Czars since Peter the Great in the Russian Church, and has sometimes, though with still less justice, been used of the German evangelical princes who have exercised authority in spiritual things, though even the territorial system recognizes a sphere for religion independent of the State. 1 See ERASTUS, THOMAS.


1 The term Cęsaropapism is somewhat opprobrious in its implications; but if it is to be kept in use at all it is applicable to all monarchical governments in which union of Church and State, with civil control, prevails. In a limited monarchy like Great Britain it is not as much the king as the cabinet, representing a majority of the representatives of the people, that exercises authority in religious matters. Where imperial authority is less limited, as in Germany, ecclesiastical control by the sovereign or his representative is more complete. Where imperial authority is absolute, as in Russia until recently, the term Cęsaropapism is applicable without qualification.

A. H. N.


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