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Abbot, Abbess
(208 words)

The words “abbot” and “abbess” come from Aram. abba (father). Abbots and abbesses are the heads of independent cloisters, especially Benedictine; an abbot may also be the head of an abbey church. Many abbots and abbesses, who are often esteemed as highly as bishops, have made their mark as missionaries, pioneers, preachers, poets, scientists, and territorial rulers. They typically receive an oath of obedience from those under them.

The abbot general, or abbot president, is the head of a group of monasteries. The head of the confederated Benedictines, elected fo…

Cite this page
Grote, Heiner, “Abbot, Abbess”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 25 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_A2>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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