Christianism had various definitions over the years. It was originally defined as "the Christian religion" or "the Christian world".[1] In recent years, Christianism (or Christianist') has also been used as a descriptive term of Christian fundamentalists, mostly in the United States, for the ideology of the Christian right, meant as a counterpoint to "Islamism".[2][3] Writing in 2005, the New York Times language columnist William Safire attributed the term (in its modern usage) to conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan, who wrote on June 1, 2003:

I have a new term for those on the fringes of the religious right who have used the Gospels to perpetuate their own aspirations for power, control and oppression: Christianists. They are as anathema to true Christians as the Islamists are to true Islam."[2]

The liberal bloggers Tristero and David Neiwert used the term shortly after.[4][5] Sullivan later expanded on his usage of the term in a Time magazine column.[6] Uses of the term can be found dating back to the seventeenth century, but these are unrelated to its modern meaning.[2]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Safire, William (May 15, 2005). "Isms and Phobias". New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2010. 
  3. ^ Walker, Ruth (May 20, 2005). "Onward, Christianist soldiers?". Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts: The Christian Science Monitor). Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  4. ^ When Semantic Differences Are Not: Part Two Tristero, June 2, 2003, accessed January 31, 2010.
  5. ^ How about Christianism? David Neiwert, June 8, 2003, accessed January 31, 2010.
  6. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (May 7, 2006)."My Problem with Christianism", accessed January 31, 2010.

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