Common Era

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Common Era, abbreviated as CE, is one of the designations for the world's most commonly used year-numbering system.[1][2] The numbering of years using Common Era notation is identical to the numbering used with "Before Christ / Anno Domini" (BC/AD) notation, 2011 being the current year in both notations and neither using a year zero.[3] Common Era is also known as Christian Era[4] and Current Era,[5] with all three expressions abbreviated as CE.[6] (Christian Era is, however, also abbreviated AD, for Anno Domini.[7]) Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for "Before the Common Era", "Before the Christian Era", or "Before the Current Era".[8] Both the BCE/CE and BC/AD notations are based on a sixth-century estimate for the year in which Jesus was conceived or born, with the common era designation originating among Christians in Europe at least as early as 1615 (at first in Latin).[9]

The Gregorian calendar, and the year-numbering system associated with it, is the calendar system with most widespread usage in the world today. For decades, it has been the de facto global standard, recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union. There are many names in many languages used to designate this year-numbering system that originated in Western Europe. Common Era notation has been adopted in several non-Christian cultures and by many scholars in religious studies and other academic fields[10] [11] wishing to be sensitive to non-Christians,[12] because Common Era does not explicitly make use of religious titles for Jesus, such as Christ and Lord, which are used in the BC/AD notation.[10][13][14][15][16] Among the reasons given by those who oppose the use of Common Era notation are claims that its propagation is the result of secularization, anti-supernaturalism, religious pluralism, and political correctness.[17] [18][19][20][21] Some suggest Common Era designation is not sufficiently culturally neutral, because it does not remove the birth of Jesus as the era marker, leaving the focus on an event significant to Western civilization.[22][23][24][25][26][27]

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