creed

Without reading the long document about the group's beliefs — its creed — he knew he didn't fit in, because he just couldn't bow to the 12-foot statue of a rabbit, no matter what it symbolized.

A creed can be a formal doctrine, or system of beliefs, for a church or religious group, or it can be a philosophy, or personal set of beliefs. The origins of the word are in the Latin crēdō, "I believe," once specific to the Christian faith, but by the 17th century it was used for many different faiths. Companies, societies, and disciplines might also adopt a creed — as in a political creed, a national creed, or a management creed — that lays out a particular belief-system or way of doing things.

Definitions of creed
1

n any system of principles or beliefs

Synonyms:
credo
Types:
testament
a profession of belief
Athanasian Creed
a Christian profession of faith
Type of:
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought
a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school

n the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group

Synonyms:
church doctrine, gospel, religious doctrine
Examples:
Augsburg Confession
the document drawn up in 1555 to defend the catholicity of Lutheran doctrine and to justify innovations in Lutheran practice; is still in effect today
Types:
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original sin
a sin said to be inherited by all descendants of Adam
confession
the document that spells out the belief system of a given church (especially the Reformation churches of the 16th century)
ahimsa
a Buddhist and Hindu and especially Jainist doctrine holding that all forms of life are sacred and urging the avoidance of violence
dogma, tenet
a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof
ecumenicalism, ecumenicism, ecumenism
(Christianity) the doctrine of the ecumenical movement that promotes cooperation and better understanding among different religious denominations: aimed at universal Christian unity
Immaculate Conception, Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
(Christianity) the Roman Catholic dogma that God preserved the Virgin Mary from any stain of original sin from the moment she was conceived
Incarnation
(Christianity) the Christian doctrine of the union of God and man in the person of Jesus Christ
Nicene Creed
(Christianity) a formal creed summarizing Christian beliefs; first adopted in 325 and later expanded
real presence
(Christianity) the Christian doctrine that the body of Christ is actually present in the Eucharist
article of faith, credendum
(Christianity) any of the sections into which a creed or other statement of doctrine is divided
Type of:
doctrine, ism, philosophical system, philosophy, school of thought
a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school