Please post your comments and suggestions for this article.

Comment by Dr. David Ward on July 29th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Why do you use c.e. instead of BC or AD?

Comment by Jennifer Tanabe on August 1st, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for your important question and your interest in the New World Encyclopedia.
The issue of era designation is debated, and in some quarters contentious, because it inevitably refers to calendar dates related to a particular civilization or religion. New World Encyclopedia has adopted the Chicago Manual of Style for its guide, which describes eras as follows:

9.38 Eras. Era designations, at least in the Western world, are usually expressed in one of two ways: either CE (“of the common era”) and BCE (“before the common era”), or AD (anno Domini, “in the year of the Lord”) and BC (“before Christ”). Other forms include AH (anno Hegirae, “in the year of [Muhammad’s] Hegira,” or anno Hebraico, “in the Hebrew year”), AUC (ab urbe condita, “from the founding of the city [Rome]”), and—for archaeological purposes—BP (“before the present”). Note that the Latin forms AD and AH precede the year number, whereas the others follow it. Choice of the era designation depends on tradition, academic discipline, or personal preference.

With no way to please everyone, we sought to chose the most general and least religiously loaded terms (Common Era), which are based on the Western calendar adopted by Rome. We feel that this convention is more in keeping with encouraging the ideal of religions in harmony.

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