Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ronald J. Nuzzi
An instructional tool for teachers and students of religious education, a catechism is a textbook whose primary goal is to provide clear, precise, and brief answers to fundamental questions. Typically structured in the question-and-answer format, a catechism proposes a basic question, and then proceeds to answer it immediately. Catechisms thus provide a quick but exact summary of religious doctrine in a highly accessible and easy-to-understand layout. The word catechism, and its cognates, catechesis and catechetical, have their origin in the Greek verb katechein, which is often associated with the theater and the ancient agora or marketplace; it means, “to make resound or echo.” Thus, oral Catechisms ...