tonsure

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Related to tonsuring: Clerical tonsure

tonsure

(tŏn`shər) [Lat.,=to shave], formerly, practice in some Christian churches of cutting some of the hair from the scalp of clerics. In the West the tonsure consisted of a circular patch on the crown of the head from which the hair was kept cut; some tonsures kept the entire head shaved above the ears, and some retained a broad band of hair around the head. Different religious orders had different tonsures. In the 6th and 7th cent. one of the outstanding questions between the Celtic use and the Roman use was the tonsure, which the Celts made by cutting the hair off the front part of the head. The Roman Catholic Church abolished the practice of tonsure in 1972. See orders, holyorders, holy
[Lat. ordo,=rank], in Christianity, the traditional degrees of the clergy, conferred by the Sacrament of Holy Order. The episcopacy, priesthood or presbyterate, and diaconate were in general use in Christian churches in the 2d cent.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tonsure

 

a church ritual in Christianity. The rite of tonsure is performed upon admission into the clerical or monastic state. It was adopted from the custom of cropping the hair of slaves in Rome and Greece and symbolizes “enslavement to god.”

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"How will they mourn the death of Vajpayee without tonsuring their heads and following the complete death rituals under Hindu culture?
Unlike the forcible tonsuring of deposed Merovingian rulers, however, the cleric accepted this badge of shame voluntarily.
The forcible tonsure of kings was known in all the pre-Carolingian barbarian kingdoms of Western Europe but, like the issues of tonsuring and clerical beards, it was characterised by ambiguity.
" We also wanted the government to grade sexual offences depending on the nature of sexual assault and also define acts such as tonsuring, stripping and parading naked as additional sexual offences as they are done with the intention of humiliating women," said Madhu Mehra, director at Partners for Law in Development and one of the signatories to the critique.
Guwahati (Assam) [India], September 2 ( ANI ): Three women protesters from Swadhin Nari Shakti (SNS) staged a protest against the BJP government in the state by tonsuring their heads in Guwahati on Friday.
Both sides subsequently remained silent on the tonsuring episode.
Now, with Varma making a film on Ravi's life, the tonsuring incident has come back into focus.
They too are candidates for tonsuring - the shaving of the head as a sign of religious devotion.
Rohit Pathare, a local said that the residents of the Ralegan Siddhi village have expressed their support to the social activist by tonsuring their heads and other villagers would follow suit till Hazare's demand for a strong and effective Lokpal body becomes a reality.
The day of head tonsuring is decided and followed by all villagers.