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Book Chapter

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Cambridge University Press


Religious life has taken many forms. It arose within 60 years of the Crucifixion in response to Jesus' resurrection. Some Christians, predominantly women, convinced of the active presence of the risen Jesus in their lives, and liberated by faith in the resurrection from the fear of personal or social extinction through death, felt personally called to express the totality and exclusiveness of their relationship to Christ by lifelong consecrated virginity*, characteristically interpreted as espousal to him.

Chapter of

The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity


Daniel Patte


This material has been published in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity edited by Daniel Patte. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.