Terms denoting groups of men or women participating in a common center, primarily family, then also in race, humanity, fellowship, purpose; used in religious literature esp. with reference to unity of man in origin and structure and to designate disciples of a charismatic personality. Brotherhoods and sisterhoods develop in religious groups for cultivation of piety and achievement of goals through community life. In Christianity the terms describe those who participate in the fellowship* of Christ; in RCm esp., they denote religious orders united by common vows, life, and goals; similar orders have multiplied in Anglo-Catholic, Prot., and Luth. churches. The terms also apply to some secular and religious associations. See also Sisterhoods.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission
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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
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Concordia Publishing House
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