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4 definitions found
 for Schism
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Schism \Schism\, n. [OE. scisme, OF. cisme, scisme, F. schisme,
     L. schisma, Gr. schi`sma, fr. schi`zein to split; akin to L.
     scindere, Skr. chid, and prob. to E. shed, v.t. (which see);
     cf. Rescind, Schedule, Zest.]
     Division or separation; specifically (Eccl.), permanent
     division or separation in the Christian church; breach of
     unity among people of the same religious faith; the offense
     of seeking to produce division in a church without
     justifiable cause.
     [1913 Webster]
           Set bounds to our passions by reason, to our errors by
           truth, and to our schisms by charity.    --Eikon
     [1913 Webster]
     Greek schism (Eccl.), the separation of the Greek and Roman
     Great schism, or Western schism (Eccl.) a schism in the
        Roman church in the latter part of the 14th century, on
        account of rival claimants to the papal throne.
     Schism act (Law), an act of the English Parliament
        requiring all teachers to conform to the Established
        Church, -- passed in 1714, repealed in 1719.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: division of a group into opposing factions; "another schism
           like that and they will wind up in bankruptcy" [syn:
           schism, split]
      2: the formal separation of a church into two churches or the
         withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  67 Moby Thesaurus words for "schism":
     affiliation, alienation, apostasy, betrayal, body, bolt, branch,
     breach, breach of friendship, break, breakaway, chasm, church,
     cleavage, cleft, communion, community, defection, denomination,
     dereliction, deserter, desertion, disaffection, disfavor,
     disruption, dissent, dissidence, disunion, disunity, divergence,
     dividedness, division, estrangement, faction, falling-out,
     fellowship, fissure, fracture, group, heterodoxy, misbelief,
     nonconformism, nonconformity, offshoot, open rupture, order,
     organization, party, persuasion, ratting, recall of ambassadors,
     religious order, rent, rift, rupture, school, secession, sect,
     sectarism, segment, separation, society, split, unorthodoxy,
     variety, version, walkout

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :

     a separation, an alienation causing divisions among Christians,
     who ought to be united (1 Cor. 12:25).

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