(2030 words)
  • Alan Argent (Independent Scholar - Europe)

Historical Context Essay

Congregationalism is the term used for that form of church government which asserts the autonomy of each local church. Congregationalists assert that it is the Holy Spirit who gathers God's people together and who prompts them to enter a covenant relationship with each other and with God and, therefore, to walk together in church order. Historically it has been one of the three main types of ecclesiastical polity – alongside Episcopacy and Presbyterianism. In Congregationalism all members of the local church make decisions on its behalf together, without reference to outside bodies; consequently ultimate authority for the church's work and witness, including the issuing of a call to its ministry, resides in the church meeting when the …

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Argent, Alan. "Congregationalism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 March 2008
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Religious Reform, Protestants, Dissenters