The best example I came up with is the following:

Just for the sake of argument, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic; two words which refer to similar religions, but are not identical.

How would that be defined?

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    They are related terms. – user66974 Jun 1 '15 at 10:51
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    I think it's a poor example, because if the "two religions" are so similar, how come they are still split today, almost 1000 after the Great Schism? Second, as words orthodox (correct belief/glory) and catholic (according to the whole) do not have, technically speaking, similar meanings. – pazzo Jun 1 '15 at 10:55
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    The words orthodox and catholic have very different meanings. – TRomano Jun 1 '15 at 10:57
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    Correlative ? A word or concept that has a mutual relationship with another word or concept. – user66974 Jun 1 '15 at 10:57
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    @w0rldart: Please edit your example to remove the religious tones from it. I think it is confusing people about what you're asking. You could use lions and tigers being animals or something. – Tushar Raj Jun 1 '15 at 11:52

Co-hyponyms seems to be it.

See this image from wikipedia:

enter image description here

  • @TusharRaj Well, that's a cute solution! Given your tree diagram, How about sibling words or sister terms, or something like that, as well? – Dan Bron Jun 1 '15 at 11:13
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    @DanBron: The word that came to my mind was 'Bronyms' – Tushar Raj Jun 1 '15 at 11:14

Since the OP has accepted the editing of his question to be asking specifically about "two religions" (which seems to be ratified by the OP's editing of Orthodox (capital O) to Eastern Orthodox...

I reject the premise of the question, which I take to be that the "two religions" are similar.

I am also unaware that the two religions are "similar but not identical."

In fact, since this is now a religious and/or historical question, it is both off topic and it is a matter of perspective.

For instance, the teaching of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism on certain issues are much more similar to each other (both being Western, and heavily dependent upon Augustine of Hippo) than either is to Eastern Orthodox teaching on the same issues.

My answer is ecclesiastical bodies who are not in earthly communion.

  • This is a comment, perhaps one that belongs on a close vote. But it is not an answer. – Dan Bron Jun 1 '15 at 11:40
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    +1 for rejecting the premise. It's like saying Sunni and Shia are "similar but not identical". Such abstractions don't get one very far. They are "historically related". They "have a history". Almost anything is better than "not identical" which is borderline meaningless in this context. – TRomano Jun 1 '15 at 11:41
  • It is now an answer. – pazzo Jun 1 '15 at 11:53

*orthodox" and catholic are adjectives. That which is orthodox is that which has been deemed not to violate a system of unified belief. Unorthodox ideas get eliminated. The idea behind catholic is nearly the opposite; it means "including variety" or "encompassing". By virtue of their meanings, and by virtue of the dynamics of belief systems, these adjectives get applied to organizations and movements involving ideas, beliefs, tenets, etc.

I know of no abstract label for words that get applied to the same domain or a dynamic, because their meanings are apt.

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    But the proper names mean something different now, and are literally different words (distinguished by their capitalization). The Pope may or may not be catholic, but the Pope sure as heck is Catholic. It is the proper names which are being asked about and compared here, nor the underlying adjectives. – Dan Bron Jun 1 '15 at 11:18
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    @DanBron: I disagree. The proper names refer to the organizations/religions but the meaning of the adjectives has not been lost. Are Elk and Rotarian "correlatives" at some lexical level? – TRomano Jun 1 '15 at 11:19
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    @DanBron: The question sucks qua question. Please quote it to me. Where is it? – TRomano Jun 1 '15 at 11:21
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    @Dan Bron In who(m) do these terms "conjure up similar images and evoke similar feelings"? How can one call either church/religion an "idea"? On what basis do you say the two are "not far apart"? – pazzo Jun 1 '15 at 11:43
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    Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox religious adherents are on far friendlier terms than Shia and Sunni today, and on far friendlier terms than some Protestant and Roman Catholic adherents were with the Reformation. But history is off-topic here (except insofar as it relates to language). I cannot find the clear linguistic question here. – TRomano Jun 1 '15 at 11:49

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