Religious order

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Jump to: navigation, search
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with monastic order. (Discuss)

A religious order is an organization of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with religious devotion. The members of such orders, termed religious as a group, are usually distinct from both the laity and the clergy. They are often termed monks, friars or brothers if male, and nuns or sisters if female.

Some orders practice literal isolation (cloistering) from the outside world; others remain engaged with the world in various ways, often teaching or serving in traditional roles, while maintaining their distinction in other ways. All, however, may be distinguished by vows or disciplines they undertake as members of their orders.

The best-known religious orders are Christian and Buddhist orders of monks and nuns. However, a form of ordered religious living is common also in many tribes of Africa and South America, though on a smaller scale.

In Buddhist societies such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, Korea and Tibet, there exist strikingly large monastic orders. A well-known Chinese Buddhist order is the ancient Shaolin order in Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism.

See also

External links

Personal tools