(from Gk. eremites, living in the desert). Religious orders whose mems. lead solitary lives. Anchorite often synonymous with hermit; when distinguished, a hermit is one who has retired from human society, an anchorite is close to a religious community. Cenobites,* in contrast to anchorites and hermits, live in secluded communities. Hermits include Augustinian* Hermits, Camaldolese,* early Carmelites,* Carthusians,* Celestines (see Celestines, 1). See also Anthony; Paul of Thebes; Recluse.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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