Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,229 words)

1. Concept

Since the Middle Ages, “nun” has been the usual general term in Christendom for women (virgins) living in convents having made life-long vows and joined a religious order. Together they constitute the convent (as community), which is characterized by enclosure, continuity of place (Latin stabilitas loci), and a communal religious and everyday life. The cohabitation of women bound to chastity in a religious community also occurs in non-Christian religions, including Buddhism.


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Knackmuß, Susanne, “Nun”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024818>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128

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