The word temple has traditionally been rarely used in the Western Christian tradition. The principal words typically used to distinguish houses of worship in Western Christian architecture are basilica, cathedral and church. The Catholic Church has used the word temple in reference of a place of worship on rare occasions. An example is the Roman Catholic Sagrada Familia Temple in Barcelona, Spain and the Roman Catholic Basilique du Sacré-Cœur Temple in Paris, France.
The word temple, however, is used frequently in the tradition of Eastern Christianity and particularly the Eastern Orthodox Church, where the principal words used for houses of worship are temple and church. The use of the word temple comes from the need to distinguish a building of the church vs. the church seen as the Body of Christ. In the Russian language (similar to other Slavic languages) while the general-purpose word for "church" is tserkov, the term khram (Храм), "temple", is used to refer to the church building as a temple of God (Khram Bozhy). The words "church" and "temple", in this case are interchangeable; however, the term "church" (Ancient Greek: ἐκκλησία) is far more common. The term temple (Ancient Greek: ναός) is also commonly applied to larger churches. Some famous churches which are referred to as temples include Hagia Sophia, Saint Basil's Cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, or the Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade, Serbia. See also: Orthodox church (building) and catholicon.
Beginning in the late eighteenth century, following the Enlightenment, some Protestant denominations in France and elsewhere began to use the word temple to distinguish these spaces from Catholic churches. Evangelical and other Protestant churches make use of a wide variety of terms to designate their worship spaces, such as church, tabernacle or temple. Additionally some Breakaway Catholic Churches such as the Mariavite Church in Poland have chosen to also designate their central church building as a temple, as in the case of the Temple of Mercy and Charity in Płock. The Iglesia ni Cristo called their Central House of Worship as Central Temple, the Largest Ecclesiastical Edifice of Iglesia ni Cristo located at INC Central Complex, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.
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Other articles related to "christian temples, temple":
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