Religious order

A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of laypeople and, in some orders, clergy. Religious orders exist in many of the world's religions.

Buddhism

In Buddhist societies, a religious order is one of the number of monastic orders of monks and nuns, many of which follow under a different school of teaching, such as Thailand's Dhammayuttika order - a monastic order founded by King Mongkut (Rama IV). A well-known Chinese Buddhist order is the ancient Shaolin order in Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism and in modern times the Order of Hsu Yun.

Christianity

Catholic tradition

A Catholic religious institute is a society whose members (referred to as "religious") pronounce vows that are accepted by a superior in the name of the Church[1] and who live a life of brothers or sisters in common.[2] Catholic religious orders and congregations are the two historical categories of Catholic religious institutes. Religious institutes are distinct from secular institutes, another kind of institute of consecrated life, and from lay ecclesial movements.

In the Catholic Church, members of religious institutes, unless they are also deacons or priests in Holy Orders, are not clergy, but belong to the laity.[3] While the state of consecrated life is neither clerical nor lay, institutes themselves are classified as one or the other, a clerical institute being one that "by reason of the purpose or design intended by the founder or by virtue of legitimate tradition, is under the direction of clerics, assumes the exercise of sacred orders, and is recognized as such by the authority of the Church".[4]

Well-known Roman Catholic religious institutes, not all of which were classified as "orders" rather than "congregations", include Augustinians, Benedictines, Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, Piarists, Salesians, Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Francisco de Zurbarán - Fray Pedro Machado - Google Art Project
Francisco de Zurbarán's painting of a Mercedarian Friar, Fra Pedro Machado

Several religious orders evolved during the Crusades to incorporate a military mission thus became "religious military orders", such as the Knights of the Order of Saint John.

It is typical of non-monastic religious institutes to have a motherhouse or generalate that has jurisdiction over any number of dependent religious communities, and for its members to be moved by their superior general to any other of its communities, as the needs of the institute at any one time demand.

In accordance with the concept of independent communities in the Rule of St Benedict, the Benedictines have autonomous abbeys (so-called "independent houses"); and their members profess "stability" to the abbey where they make their religious vows. Hence they cannot move – nor be moved by their abbot or abbess – to another abbey. An "independent house" may occasionally make a new foundation which remains a "dependent house" (identified by the name "priory") until it is granted independence by Rome and itself becomes an abbey. The autonomy of each house does not prevent them being affiliated into congregations – whether national or based on some other joint characteristic – and these, in turn, form the supra-national Benedictine Confederation.

Orthodox tradition

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, there is only one type of monasticism. The profession of monastics is known as tonsure (referring to the ritual cutting of the monastic's hair which takes place during the service)[5][6] and is considered by monks to be a Sacred Mystery (Sacrament).[7] The Rite of Tonsure is printed in the Euchologion (Church Slavonic: Trebnik), the same book as the other Sacred Mysteries and services performed according to need.

Lutheran tradition

See also: Active Lutheran orders
Monastery Ebstorf
Ebstorf Abbey continued as a Lutheran convent in the Benedictine tradition since 1529

Martin Luther had concerns with the spiritual value of monastic life at the time of the Reformation.[8] After the foundation of the Lutheran Churches, some monasteries in Lutheran lands (such as Amelungsborn Abbey near Negenborn and Loccum Abbey in Rehburg-Loccum) and convents (such as Ebstorf Abbey near the town of Uelzen and Bursfelde Abbey in Bursfelde) adopted the Lutheran Christian faith.[9]

Other examples of Lutheran religious orders include the "Order of Lutheran Franciscans" in the United States. Also, a Lutheran religious order following the Rule of St. Benedict, "The Congregation of the Servants of Christ," was established at St. Augustine's House in Oxford, Michigan, in 1958 when some other men joined Father Arthur Kreinheder in observing the monastic life and offices of prayer.[10] This order has strong ties to Lutheran Benedictine orders in Sweden (Östanbäck Monastery) and in Germany (Priory of St. Wigbert).

In 2011, an Augustinian religious order, the Priestly Society of St. Augustine (Societas Sacerdotalis Sancti Augustini) was established by the Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church.[11] Its headquarters is at Christ Lutheran Church ALCC. Kent Island, Maryland, and Fr. Jens Bargmann, Ph.D., is the Grand Prior.[12]

Anglican tradition

Religious orders in England were dissolved by King Henry VIII upon the separation of the English church from Roman primacy. For three hundred years, there were no formal religious orders in Anglicanism, although some informal communities – such as that founded by Nicholas Ferrar at Little Gidding – occasionally sprang into being. With the advent of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England and worldwide Anglicanism in the middle of the 19th century, several orders appeared. In 1841, the first order for women was established. The first order for men was founded 25 years later.

Anglican religious voluntarily commit themselves for life, or a term of years, to holding their possessions in common or in trust; to a celibate life in community; and obedience to their Rule and Constitution.[13]

There are presently thirteen active religious orders for men, fifty-three for women, and eight mixed gender.

Methodist tradition

The Methodist Church of Great Britain, and its ancestors, have established a number of orders of Deaconesses, who are ordained as both regular and secular clergy. The Methodist Diaconal Order (MDO) currently admits both men and women to the Order. Since the functions of a deacon are primarily pastoral, the MDO may therefore be regarded as an order of Regular clerics.

The Order of Saint Luke is a religious order in the United Methodist Church dedicated to sacramental and liturgical scholarship, education, and practice.

Anabaptist tradition

Some Protestant religious orders follow Anabaptist theology. These would include the Hutterites and Bruderhof, who live in full community of goods[14] and living as a peace church[15].

Jehovah's Witnesses

Among their corporations, the Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses cares for matters specific to Jehovah's Witnesses special full-time servants. In a particular branch, traveling overseers, special pioneers, and branch staff are considered members of the Order of Special Full-time Servants and the Bethel Family.[16] Globally, their order is the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah’s Witnesses.[17] Male and female members of such religious orders typically make a formal vow of poverty and are granted certain status and exemptions by many governments. While Jehovah's Witnesses do not consider members of their religious orders to be a clergy separate from other Witnesses, who are also ordained ministers, they do recognize that a government may consider them such for administrative purposes.

Jehovah's Witnesses do not have a separate clergy class, but consider an adherent's qualified baptism to constitute his ordination as a minister.[18] Governments have generally recognized that Jehovah's Witnesses' full-time appointees qualify as ministers[19] regardless of sex or appointment as an elder or deacon ("ministerial servant"); the religion itself asserts what is sometimes termed "ecclesiastical privilege" only for its appointed elders.

Islam

Sufis

A tariqah is how a religious order is described in Sufism. It especially refers to the mystical teaching and spiritual practices of such an order with the aim of seeking ḥaqīqah "ultimate truth". Such tariqas typically have a murshid (guide) who plays the role of leader or spiritual director. Members and followers of a tariqa are known as murīdīn (singular murīd), meaning "desirous", viz. "desiring the knowledge of knowing God and loving God" (also called a faqīr فقير). Tariqas have silsilas (Arabic: سلسلة‎) which is the spiritual lineage of the Shaikhs of that order. Almost all orders trace their silsila back to Prophet Mohammad. Tariqas are spread all over the Muslim world.

Shia

Among Shias, Noorbakshia Islam is an order that blends Sufi principles with Shia doctrine. It claims to trace its direct spiritual lineage and chain (silsilah) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad through Ali, the first imam of Shia Islam.

Salafi

There is some a historical connection between certain schools of Sufism and the development of Wahhabism and Salafism due to the history of these denominations.

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was inspired by Ibn Taymiyyah, a 14th-century scholar and dedicated Sufi, who is however remembered mainly as an outspoken critic of the excesses of certain schools of Sufism during his time.[20]

Other traditions

A form of ordered religious living is common also in many tribes and religions of Africa and South America, though on a smaller scale, and some parts of England. Due to the unorganized character of these small religious groups, orders are not as visible as in other well-organised religions.

See also

Christian articles

Hindu articles

Islamic articles

Notes

  1. ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 1192 §2
  2. ^ Code of Canon Law, canons 607 §2
  3. ^ cf. The Code of Canon Law 1983, canon 207
  4. ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 588
  5. ^ "An Outline of Orthodox Monasticism".
  6. ^ "Orthodox Nuns".
  7. ^ Michael Prokurat, Michael D. Peterson, Alexander Golitzin (editors), The A to Z of the Orthodox Church (Scarcrow Press 2010 ISBN 978-1-46166403-1), article: "Monasticism"
  8. ^ "The Benedictines".
  9. ^ "Kloster Ebstorf". Medieval Histories. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2017. The monastery is mentioned for the first time in 1197. It belongs to the group of so-called Lüneklöstern (monasteries of Lüne), which became Lutheran convents following the Protestant Reformation. […] It is currently one of several Lutheran convents maintained by the Monastic Chamber of Hanover (Klosterkammer Hannover), an institution of the former Kingdom of Hanover founded by its Prince-Regent, later King George IV of the United Kingdom, in 1818, in order to manage and preserve the estates of Lutheran convents.
  10. ^ "Saint Augustine's House Lutheran Monastery in Oxford, Michigan".
  11. ^ Priestly Society of St. Augustine
  12. ^ Priestly Society of St. Augustine - Message from the Grand Prior
  13. ^ Anglican Communion Office. "Religious Communities". Anglican Communion Website.
  14. ^ Bruderhof (2015-10-29), What is the Bruderhof?, retrieved 2017-05-26
  15. ^ "Learning from the Bruderhof: An Intentional Christian Community". ChristLife. Retrieved 2018-08-27.
  16. ^ "Nigeria: Governor's Visit", EBS TV News, August 3, 2001, transcript, "Broadcast lasted: 3 minutes Newscaster: "The State Governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, today undertook a facility tour of the religious center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nigeria, otherwise known as Bethel, at Igieduma in Uhunmwode Local Government Area. He was accompanied in the tour by some commissioners and Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Mat. Akhionbare. For details, over to Government House correspondent, Benjamin Osagie: "Welcoming the Governor and his entourage, Mr. Albert Nwafor Olih disclosed that in harmony with its name, everything done in Bethel was guided by Bible principles and the fear of God. Mr. Olih explained that all residents are baptized Jehovah's Witnesses and members of a religious Order known as the Order of Special Full-time Servants and the Bethel Family. He said they have voluntarily taken a sacred vow to perform their duties geared towards promoting the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom""
  17. ^ "Preaching and Teaching Earth Wide—2008 Grand Totals", 2009 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, page 31, "All are members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah’s Witnesses."
  18. ^ "Beliefs—Membership and Organization", Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information of Jehovah's Witnesses, As Retrieved 2009-09-01 Archived 2012-08-26 at the Wayback Machine, "Jehovah's Witnesses have no clergy-laity division. All baptized members are ordained ministers"
  19. ^ For example, the U.S. Supreme Court case Dickinson v. United States (1953) found that Dickinson should have been considered a minister by his draft board because of his ordination by baptism as a Jehovah's Witness and his continued service as a Jehovah's Witness "pioneer". Online
  20. ^ Today, Wahhabism is often represented as inimical to Sufism. This is not the original conception of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who accepted Sufism as a genuine part of Islam. See e.g.: nsweringwhabismandsalafism.wordpress.com "Ibn `Abd al- Wahhab said in the third volume of his complete works published by Ibn Sa`ud University, on page 31 of the Fatawa wa rasa’il, Fifth Question: Know — may Allah guide you — that Allah Almighty has sent Muhammad, blessings and peace upon him, with right guidance, consisting in beneficial knowledge, and with true religion consisting in righteous action. The adherents of religion are as follows: among them are those who concern themselves with learning and fiqh, and discourse about it, such as the jurists; and among them are those who concern themselves with worship and the pursuit of the Hereafter, such as the Sufis. Allah has sent His Prophet with this religion which encompasses both kinds, that is: fiqh and tasawwuf."

External links

Media related to Religious orders at Wikimedia Commons

Abbey

An abbey is a complex of buildings used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. It provides a place for religious activities, work, and housing of Christian monks and nuns.

The concept of the abbey has developed over many centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic. An abbey may be the home of an enclosed religious order or may be open to visitors. The layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey often follows a set plan determined by the founding religious order.

Abbeys are often self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, refuge to the persecuted, or education to the young. Some abbeys offer accommodation to people who are seeking spiritual retreat. There are many famous abbeys across Europe.

Anglican religious order

Anglican religious orders are communities of men or women (or in some cases mixed communities of both sexes) in the Anglican Communion who live under a common rule of life. The members of religious orders take vows which often include the traditional monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, or the ancient vow of stability, or sometimes a modern interpretation of some or all of these vows. Members may be laity or clergy, but most commonly include a mixture of both. They lead a common life of work and prayer, sometimes on a single site, sometimes spread over multiple locations.

Basilian Aleppian Sisters

The Basilian Aleppian Sisters is a religious order of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and considered as the female branch of the Basilian Aleppian Order.

The order was founded in 1740.

Benedictines

The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict (Latin: Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a monastic Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits.

Despite being called an order, the Benedictines do not operate under a single hierarchy but are instead organised as a collection of independent monastic communities, with each community (monastery, priory or abbey) within the order maintaining its own autonomy. Unlike other religious orders, the Benedictines do not have a superior general or motherhouse with universal jurisdiction. Instead, the order is represented internationally by the Benedictine Confederation, an organisation that was set up in 1893 to represent the order's shared interests.

Catholic religious order

A Catholic religious order is a religious order of the Catholic Church. According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, they form part of a category of Catholic religious institutes.

Subcategories are canons regular (canons and canonesses regular who recite the Divine Office and serve a church and perhaps a parish); monastics (monks or nuns living and working in a monastery and reciting the Divine Office); mendicants (friars or religious sisters who live from alms, recite the Divine Office, and, in the case of the men, participate in apostolic activities); and clerks regular (priests who take religious vows and have a very active apostolic life).

Original Catholic religious orders of the Middle Ages include the Order of Saint Benedict, the Carmelites, the Order of Friars Minor, the Dominican Order, and the Order of Saint Augustine. As such, also the Teutonic Order may qualify, as today it is mainly monastic.

In the past, what distinguished religious orders from other institutes was the classification of the vows that the members took in religious profession as solemn vows. According to this criterion, the last religious order founded was that of the Bethlehem Brothers in 1673. Nevertheless, in the course of the 20th century, some religious institutes outside the category of orders obtained permission to make solemn vows, at least of poverty, thus blurring the distinction.

Conceptionists

The Order of the Immaculate Conception (Ordo Inmaculatae Conceptionis), also known as the Conceptionists, are a contemplative religious order of nuns. For some years, they followed the Poor Clares Rule, but in 1511 were recognized as a separate Catholic religious order, taking a new Rule and the name of Order of Immaculate Conception.

Dominican

Dominican may refer to:

Someone or something from or related to the Dominican Republic, on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles, in the Caribbean

People of the Dominican Republic

Demographics of the Dominican Republic

Culture of the Dominican RepublicSomeone or something from or related to the Dominican in the Caribbean

Demographics of Dominica

Culture of DominicaDominican Order, a Catholic religious order

Dominican Order

The Order of Preachers (Latin: Ordo Praedicatorum, postnominal abbreviation OP), also known as the Dominican Order, is a mendicant Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Dominic of Caleruega (also called Dominic de Guzmán) in France, approved by Pope Honorius III via the Papal bull Religiosam vitam on 22 December 1216. Members of the order, who are referred to as Dominicans, generally carry the letters OP after their names, standing for Ordinis Praedicatorum, meaning of the Order of Preachers. Membership in the order includes friars, nuns, active sisters, and affiliated lay or secular Dominicans (formerly known as tertiaries, though recently there has been a growing number of associates who are unrelated to the tertiaries).

Founded to preach the Gospel and to oppose heresy, the teaching activity of the order and its scholastic organisation placed the Preachers in the forefront of the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. The order is famed for its intellectual tradition, having produced many leading theologians and philosophers. In the year 2017 there were 5,742 Dominican friars, including 4,302 priests. The Dominican Order is headed by the Master of the Order, currently Bruno Cadoré.

A number of other names have been used to refer to both the order and its members.

In England and other countries the Dominican friars are referred to as "Black Friars" because of the black cappa or cloak they wear over their white habits. Dominicans were "Blackfriars", as opposed to "Whitefriars" (i.e., Carmelites) or "Greyfriars" (i.e., Franciscans). They are also distinct from the Augustinian Friars (the Austin friars) who wear a similar habit.

In France, the Dominicans were known as "Jacobins" because their convent in Paris was attached to the Church of Saint-Jacques, now disappeared, on the way to Saint-Jacques-du-Haut-Pas, which belonged to the Italian Order of Saint James of Altopascio (St. James) Sanctus Iacobus in Latin.

Their identification as Dominicans gave rise to the pun that they were the "Domini canes", or "Hounds of the Lord".

Enclosed religious orders

Enclosed religious orders of the Christian churches have solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world. The term cloistered is synonymous with enclosed. In the Catholic Church enclosure is regulated by the code of canon law, either the Latin code or the Oriental code, and also by subsidiary legislation. It is practised with a variety of customs according to the nature and charism of the community in question.

The stated purpose for such enclosure is to prevent distraction from prayer and the religious life. Depending upon the reason and the length of time, the proper authority (usually the superior gets approval from the local bishop or the Holy See) can allow enclosed men or women to leave the enclosure "for a grave cause and with the consent of the superior". In the Catholic Church, this matter is regulated within the framework of canon law and of the particular statutes approved by the Holy See.

Enclosed religious orders of men include monks following the Rule of Saint Benedict, namely the Benedictine, the Cistercian, and the Trappist Orders, but also monks of the Carthusians, Hieronymite monks, and some branches of Carmelites, along with members of the Monastic Family of Bethlehem, while enclosed religious orders of women include Canonesses Regular, nuns belonging to the Benedictine, Cistercian, Trappist and the Carthusian Orders, along with nuns of the second order of each of the mendicant orders, including: the Poor Clares, the Colettine Poor Clares, the Capuchin Poor Clares, the Dominicans, Carmelites, Servites, Augustinians, Minims, together with the Conceptionist nuns, the Visitandine nuns, Ursulines nuns (as distinct from "federated Ursulines" of the Company of St. Ursula) and women members of the Monastic Family of Bethlehem.

Marin Mersenne

Marin Mersenne, Marin Mersennus or le Père Mersenne (French: [mɛʀsɛn]; 8 September 1588 – 1 September 1648) was a French polymath, whose works touched a wide variety of fields. He is perhaps best known today among mathematicians for Mersenne prime numbers, those which can be written in the form Mn = 2n − 1 for some integer n. He also developed Mersenne's laws, which describe the harmonics of a vibrating string (such as may be found on guitars and pianos), and his seminal work on music theory, Harmonie universelle, for which he is referred to as the "father of acoustics". Mersenne, an ordained priest, had many contacts in the scientific world and has been called "the center of the world of science and mathematics during the first half of the 1600s" and, because of his ability to make connections between people and ideas, "the post-box of Europe". He was also a member of the Minim religious order and wrote and lectured on theology and philosophy.

Minim (religious order)

The Minims (also called the Minimi or Order of Minims, abbreviated O.M.) are members of a Roman Catholic religious order of friars founded by Saint Francis of Paola in fifteenth-century Italy. The Order soon spread to France, Germany and Spain, and continues to exist today.

Like the other mendicant Orders, there are three separate components, or Orders, of the movement: the friars, contemplative nuns and a Third Order of laypeople who live in the spirit of the Order in their daily lives. At present there are only two fraternities of the Minim tertiaries; both are in Italy.

Novice

A novice is a person or creature who is new to a field or activity. It can be seen as a person who has entered a religious order and is under probation, before taking vows. Additionally, it can be an animal, especially a racehorse, that has not yet won a major prize or reached a level of performance to qualify for important events.

Order of Friars Minor Capuchin

The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin (Latin: Ordo Fratrum Minorum Capuccinorum; postnominal abbr. O.F.M.Cap.) is an order of friars within the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Roberto Genuin.

Order of the Most Holy Annunciation

The Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (Latin: Ordo SS. Annuntiationis), also known as Turchine Nuns or Blue Nuns, is a Roman Catholic religious order of contemplative nuns formed in honour of the mystery of the Incarnation of Christ at Genoa, in Italy, by Blessed Maria Vittoria De Fornari Strata.

Pope Clement VIII approved the religious order in August 5, 1604, placing it under the Rule of St. Augustine.

At the present, there are monasteries of this religious order in Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, the Philippines, Romania and Brazil.

Order of the Most Holy Redeemer

The Order of the Most Holy Redeemer (also known as Redemptoristines) are a Catholic female religious order. Their traditional habit is deep red, and the scapular and choir-mantle blue, on the scapular there is a coloured medallion of the Most Holy Redeemer. The 15 decade rosary hangs at the side bearing a medal upon one side of which are embossed the emblems of the Saviour's passion. The nuns wear two veils: one white and another black, folded back over the head, but which may be drawn forward over the face and as far as the medallion on the scapular. Some houses wear a modified habit of a red dress, a black veil and a medal of the Holy Redeemer on one side and St. Alphonsus on the other that is suspended on a chain.

Superior General of the Society of Jesus

The Superior General of the Society of Jesus is the official title of the leader of the Society of Jesus – the Roman Catholic religious order which is also known as the Jesuits. He is generally addressed as Father General. The position sometimes carries the nickname of the Black Pope, because of his responsibility for the largest Catholic, male religious order and is contrasted to the white garb of the pope. The thirty-first and current Superior General is the Reverend Father Arturo Sosa, elected by the 36th General Congregation on October 14, 2016.

Teutonic Order

The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: Latin: Ordo domus Sanctæ Mariæ Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum, German: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden, Deutschherrenorden or Deutschritterorden), is a Catholic religious order founded as a military order c. 1190 in Acre, Kingdom of Jerusalem.

The Teutonic Order was formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals. Its members have commonly been known as the Teutonic Knights, having a small voluntary and mercenary military membership, serving as a crusading military order for protection of Christians in the Holy Land and the Baltics during the Middle Ages.

Purely religious since 1929, the Teutonic Order still confers limited honorary knighthoods. The Bailiwick of Utrecht of the Teutonic Order, a Protestant chivalric order, is descended from the same medieval military order and also continues to award knighthoods and perform charitable work.

Theatines

The Theatines or the Congregation of Clerics Regular of the Divine Providence are a religious order of the Catholic Church, with the post-nominal initials "C.R."

Trappists

The Trappists, officially the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Latin: Ordo Cisterciensis Strictioris Observantiae, abbreviated as OCSO), are a Catholic religious order of cloistered monastics that branched off from the Cistercians. They follow the Rule of Saint Benedict and have communities of both monks and nuns that are referred to as Trappists and Trappistines, respectively. They are named after La Trappe Abbey, the monastery from which the movement and religious order originated.

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