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Lay priest

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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lay priest 入道 (Jpn nyudo )


One whose head is shaven in the manner of a Buddhist priest, but continues to live in society as a layperson. Lay priest is a translation of the Japanese term nyudo, which literally means to "enter the way," i.e., to "enter the way of the Buddha."

In Japan, from the Heian period (794-1185) on, a distinction was made between lay priests and those who formally renounced the secular world and lived in temples. Later an increasing number of samurai took the tonsure as priests did, but continued to live as laypersons.

Source

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