Religious vows

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Religious vows are the public vows made by the members of religious communities pertaining to their conduct, practices and views.

In the Buddhist tradition, in particular within the Mahayana and Vajrayana tradition, many different kinds of religious vows are taken by the lay community as well as by the monastic community, as they progress along the path of practice. In the monastic tradition of all schools of Buddhism the Vinaya expounds the vows of the fully ordained Nuns and Monks.

In the Christian tradition, such public vows are made by the religious lifecenobitic and eremitic – of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox Churches, whereby they confirm their public profession of the Evangelical Counsels or Benedictine equivalent. They are regarded as the individual's free response to a call by God to follow Jesus Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit in a particular form of religious living. A person who lives a religious life according to vows they have made is called a votary or a votarist. The religious vow, being a public vow, is binding in Church law. One of its effects is that the person making it ceases to be free to marry. In the Roman Catholic Church, by making a religious vow – whether as a member of a religious community or as a consecrated hermit – one does not become a member of the hierarchy but remains a member of the Laity. Nevertheless, many male members of the Consecrated life are members of the hierarchy, because...
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