(Of an Eastern Christian Church) appointing its own head, not subject to the authority of an external patriarch or archbishop.
- Further, the Orthodox tradition, with its autocephalous churches and sufficiently full agreement in doctrine, presents an alternative to centralized authority.
- The Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America is an autocephalous church established in 1908.
- Obviously, further definition is needed in this area to describe the relationships between autocephalous and national church communities, for example, but we cannot go into this here.
Mid 19th century: from Greek autokephalos (from autos 'self' + kephalē 'head') + -ous.
For editors and proofreaders
Definition of autocephalous in:
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.