postbaptismal

Cultural Dictionary

baptism definition


The ceremony of initiation into Christianity; in most Christian churches, it is considered a sacrament. Persons baptized either have water poured on them or are immersed in water; some groups of Christians insist on immersion. The effect of baptism, in Christian belief, is to cleanse persons of their sins, so that they are born into a new life with Jesus. Most churches baptize members when they are infants, but some groups, like the Baptists, insist on adult baptism. Jesus himself was baptized. (See John the Baptist.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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