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Source: (consider it) Thread: Cladistics as applied to Protestantism
Brenda Clough
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I put the two key words in the title into Google and came up dry. Time to consult the real experts!

There must be someone somewhere who has organized the development of Christianity using the cladistic principles. There has to be a book, a website, someone who has written the thesis to get their theology degree.

This would classify the sects of Christianity, or better Protestantism, according to similar features. Thus, all adult-baptism denominations are grouped together; there's a separate clade for liturgical folks, and probably a separate sub-branch for the smells 'n' bells folks. Mormons are their own branch way out over there, or perhaps we could split off all those 19th century oddities in their own division, along with the Agapemones and such.

The earliest fork in the path would be with the divide between Orthodoxy and the RCs, of course, and then another big fork at Martin Luther.

Some one tell me that somebody has already done this. Surely to God this is not my own idea? Because this would force me to create the thing myself, and I don't have time. I want to see and enjoy the results of someone else's research and learning.

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Brenda Clough
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Forgot to add, this lady's memoirs is what kicks off the notion. Has anyone ever heard of the Exclusive Brethren? They are clearly a branch off of the Plymouth Brethren, more famous in the US for coming to Massachusetts and being the Pilgrim Fathers.

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Jengie jon

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First off Pilgrim Father's were not exclusive Brethren. The Plymouth Bretheren were founded in the 19th Century. The Pilgrim Father's came across in 1620. I know the Pilgrim Fathers came from the same stock as this URC.

Secondly, this is what the claddistic lineage for Church of Scotland looks like. Nobody even attempts it for Congregationalism or Baptist Churches.

Jengie

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georgiaboy
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The Exclusive Brethren sounds sorta like the model for Garrison Keillor's 'Sanctified Brethren.'

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Has anyone ever heard of the Exclusive Brethren? They are clearly a branch off of the Plymouth Brethren

Correct. I'm sure a chart must exist for the various offshoots of the Plymouth Brethren (from memory there are 13 or so), but I can't find it.

In the meantime, have at the World religions tree (warning: huge and zoomable).

[ 09. July 2017, 21:40: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
. Has anyone ever heard of the Exclusive Brethren? They are clearly a branch off of the Plymouth Brethren, more famous in the US for coming to Massachusetts and being the Pilgrim Fathers.

Much foresight needed as the Plymouth Brethren did not come into existence until a couple of centuries later. But there are various Brethren groups, mostly Open - indeed I regularly get some work from a firm of solicitors where the partners are Open - but some with various degrees of exclusivity.

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Dafyd
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A clade contains all the descendants of a single population (ideally a single ancestor). Ideally once populations have split they don't recombine, so you don't get partially overlapping clades.
That doesn't even apply in the natural world, where some groups hybridise. In the Protestant world there's a lot of recombining. So the Wesleys come from a High Church Anglican tradition, and also from the Moravian Brethren.
The Church of England has lots of influences feeding in and out of it.

[ 09. July 2017, 21:46: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Forgot to add, this lady's memoirs is what kicks off the notion.

My wife and I have just finished it.

A sad and fascinating read.

My wife comes a fairly conservative Open Brethren background, and I joined the Opens during my teens, so we both something about Brethrenism in general, and the Exclusives in particular (the two groups split in 1848), though we don't attend a Brethren assembly these days.

quote:
Has anyone ever heard of the Exclusive Brethren? They are clearly a branch off of the Plymouth Brethren, more famous in the US for coming to Massachusetts and being the Pilgrim Fathers.
Nothing personal, but this really makes me question how much you know about the evangelicalism which you so confidently excoriate.

[ 09. July 2017, 21:47: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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Eutychus
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The Plymouth Brethren don't appear to be on that World Religions Tree.

Here's a "dendrogram" for them. The church I grew up in was probably in the dotted box to the top right.

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Eutychus
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Another good read on the more exclusive of the Exclusives, albeit rather dated now, is Shut up Sarah.

While I can see a certain family resemblance to the bit of the Brethren I grew up in, there was nothing like the controlling atmosphere that clearly prevails even today among the Exclusives.

And the descendants of the Exclusive Brethren in France are far more "open" than their UK counterparts.

This book is an excellent historical and sociological overview of the Brethren - a French translation from the Italian. Mrs Eutychus and I translated it into English for an edition published privately, I suspect commissioned by English-speaking Exclusives. If anyone's really interested, they could try asking CESNUR for a copy.

[ 09. July 2017, 22:12: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Brenda Clough
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OMG, that is indeed complex. They do seem to be splittier than a teenaged girl's mane.

As far as I can tell the modern American evangelism movement doesn't owe all that much to these people. It seems to spring from a different line. Which is why a cladistic diagram would be helpful. I'm grateful that somebody is tinkering with the finer-grained diagrams. Does anyone have a large-scale one? Martin Luther is at the beginning, and a bit further down the CofE splits off...

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Lamb Chopped
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Having seen that thing I am so intensely, intensely grateful that I dodged the bullet of designing such a thing at work. [Eek!]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Kaplan Corday
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At our last assembly, we knew a man who had grown up in the Exclusives and had left to join the Opens.

He was a dentist, and at professional development dental get-togethers, the Exclusive leadership used to permit him to join his colleagues for a cuppa at tea-breaks - as long as he remained standing while he drank it, and did not sit at a table with them.

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Lyda*Rose

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snort [Roll Eyes]

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Brenda Clough
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This sounds profoundly un-Christ-like.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This sounds profoundly un-Christ-like.

No doubt based on the separation passages (eg I Corinthians 5:11 "With such a man do not even eat"), which can also be found in the words of Christ (eg Luke 14:26, about hating one's own family members in order to be a disciple).

(And what's that I hear?
Could it be people from another thread pointing their fingers triumphantly and saying, "Told you so! See, you can interpret the Bible any way that suits you!"?
Why yes, I do believe it is!)

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Galloping Granny
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quote:
Originally posted by georgiaboy:
The Exclusive Brethren sounds sorta like the model for Garrison Keillor's 'Sanctified Brethren.'

We certainly have them in New Zealand. No higher education for their women (who wear their hair long and covered with a scarf), worship in a windowless building; until they opened their own school teachers at a local primary school where there were a number of their children had to prepare two lessons if they needed to use a (forbidden) video, and send the 'exclusive' kids into another room.
For many years if one married into a Brethren family one was cut off from all contact with your own family, but eventually a new Head Honcho relaxed the rules and a relative could visit and even be offered tea and cookies but the hostess could not eat with them.
Individually they could be quite friendly. I had a colleague who taught commercial subjects; while we ate our lunch in the staff common room she ate hers in the workroom but she'd stand in the doorway with a sandwich in her hand and chat.

GG

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Jengie jon

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The descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers are United Church of Christ and other Congregational and Baptist groupings*.

I do not want to draw a Cladistic tree of them. Nobody does because you first have to define a split. Then deal with mergers and then with congregations that move between one group and another without being part of a clear split.

Sorry, Brenda.

Jengie

*Separatist/Independancy was not yet distinctly divided between those that would paedobatise and those that would not.

[ 10. July 2017, 07:36: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Eutychus
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Somewhere in the writings of Adrian Plass is the group that split so many times it eventually split back to where it started from.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
- as long as he remained standing while he drank it, and did not sit at a table with them.

We knew families who had rooms with sliding partitions. If they ate with a family that were not "of the way" then they would position the dining table half-across the partition and partially draw the partition. Apparently this meant that they were in fact eating in a different room from the unsaved family, albeit in an arrangement where they could pass the salt and converse.

I'm sure Jesus and Paul would breathe a deep sigh of relief that they'd seen a way out of that one.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Barnabas Aus
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I went to school in Sydney with a couple of the Hales clan, before they had established their own schools.[I suspect that their older cousin is now the Elect Vessel.] One of the boys was on the debating team with me. He was allowed to participate in the activity, but if we used news reports in our debate prep, we had to read the articles to him, as he was not permitted any access to newspapers, radio or television. They are the most exclusive of the Exclusives.
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Brenda Clough
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The pretzel twists of this way of thought must be very stressful. (And God bless them, what would they do with smartphones? The internet? No mention of wikipedia in Scripture, so surely it's OK...) No wonder the young woman who wrote the memoir (link upthread) was so full of rage.

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Galloping Granny
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Updating my info on the locals we know as Exclusive Brethren.
We looked up the details of the local school that they built, and found that they list themselves as Plymouth Brethren Christian Church.
Because they have several campuses in New Zealand and more overseas (US? UK?) and the local school has 100 students from years 3-13, they share specialist teachers via video conferencing across 11 master campuses and numerous satellites. A photo of senior students studying has them using laptops.
Things have changed.
(Was there once something about 144,000 gointo heaven? They certainly didn't go in for proselitising.)

GG

GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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Sober Preacher's Kid

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
First off Pilgrim Father's were not exclusive Brethren. The Plymouth Bretheren were founded in the 19th Century. The Pilgrim Father's came across in 1620. I know the Pilgrim Fathers came from the same stock as this URC.

Secondly, this is what the claddistic lineage for Church of Scotland looks like. Nobody even attempts it for Congregationalism or Baptist Churches.

Jengie

Gotcha beat. [Razz]

United Church of Canada Family Tree

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Jengie jon

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Don't believe that is true.

The Congregational line is far too simplified.

For those that do not know the nature of the animal, small groups of Congregational churches or even individual congregations are always withdrawing and reuniting with the main associations over various issues. Hence why nobody draws these cladistic graphs for Congregationals.

Jengie

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Brenda Clough
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(sigh)
I wish the SoF format allowed of a better display on this. But I have many more important things to do, so clearly I have to try this, at least in the broad brush. (At least I am not starting a genealogical spreadsheet, right?) People could add years or dates if they want.

Catholic church
splits into
Catholic - Orthodox
Then (Martin Luther)
Protestant - Catholic
Other more fine divisions here, but the next big one is Henry VIII
Church of England - Catholic
Church of England - Methodists
Methodists - Baptists

I believe the Brethren folks split out from Baptists.

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wild haggis
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Church history doesn't go into neat lists. What does - except my supermarket shopping list?!

The development of the different strands of Protestant Christianity is not as simple as cladtistics.

You will find, if you read church history, that the different strands of Christianity throughout the world developed in an exceedingly complex manner at different rates and with different denominations/church governance/theology. It is not just a case of one group splitting off and spawning another.

Even within denominations there were splits that still kept within the same denominations. Splits aren't always over theology, but often to do with strong personalities.

Luther did not want to split from the RC church but was excommunicated by them. Calvin had more influence in the development of Protestantism in Britain than Luther.

Baptists did not develop out of Methodism. What do you mean by Baptists anyway - there are many different brands.There were Baptists/Anabaptists (not exactly the same as Baptists) in Europe before Methodists in England. John Wesley wanted to remain with Anglicanism not set up a different denomination. There are different strands of Anglicanism too from high Anglo-Catholic to ultra evangelical.

Many would argue that Henry VIII has nothing to whatsoever to do with the development of Protestantism. He only split from Roman over a woman, not theology! He wanted to remain an RC but divorce his wife.His son was more engaged theologically than Henry.

In Scotland the split from Rome was more theological from the beginning, and influenced heavily by Calvin. Henry V111 had nothing whatsoever to do with the Protestant church in Scotland!!! Nor did he have anything to do with Protestantism within Europe. Scotland has different denominations from England anyway.

America is different yet again.

To find out more about the development of Christianity, post 2nd cent, you need to get some good books, written by people who know what they are talking about (ie church historians). There is much on the internet that is inaccurate.

Church history cannot be condensed into artificial and superficial lists. Would make life easier if it could!

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wild haggis

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Catholic church
splits into
Catholic - Orthodox

I think you mean the Catholic Church (or the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; or just "the Church") splits into the Roman Catholic Church and the (Eastern) Orthodox churches.

quote:
Methodists - Baptists
[Confused]

The first Baptist congregations in Britain were established in the early 1600s; the first Baptist congregations in what is now the US were established in 1639. That's almost exactly a century before Wesley's Aldersgate experience (1738).

[ 24. July 2017, 14:23: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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Jengie jon

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Not on an international setting. The first division goes back earlier to the Monophysite and Armenian Churches. Then you have the Thomist Churches who may well not have separated formally but some ended up officially Catholic, some Orthodox and some other.

There were various pre-Reformation groups who broke from the Western Church after the great schism. Of interest from my perspective are the Waldensians and Hussites.

The Reformation is not into Protestant and Catholic but into Lutheran, Zwinglian and Genevan/Strasbourg with the Zwinglian/Geneva Strassbourg uniting in the next generation to form the Reformed. You must also add into that the Anabaptist including Moravians or radical Reformation who are more extreme than either Lutheran or Reformed.

Then you have the CofE but that does not just create a tradition that steers between Reformed and Lutheranism it also mixes the strands within England. The Baptist are (as are United Church of Christ/Congregational) a mix between Reformed and Anabaptist traditions who are not happy with the CofE position. They are congregational in government, highly tolerant of religious diversity between congregation although not within and take a while to sediment out. This strand represents the Christian tradition of the Pilgrim Fathers. The Scots, meanwhile go their own very Reformed way and create Presbyterianism. This is horribly simplified and I can hear the church historians turning in their graves.

Then just to muddle everything there is Unitarianism that draws from Anglican, Baptist, Congregational and Presbyterian roots.

I have failed to mention Quakers and not yet got to Methodism.


Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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