Clerical Celibacy - Other Religions

Other Religions

  • Judaism has no history of celibacy for its leaders, rabbis or kohens. Before the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, priests, kohens, and Levites were required to practice continence (abstain from sexual intercourse with their wife) before and during their time of service at the temple. They were permitted to resume marital relations after completing their service. Some community functions are, as a rule, filled only by married men. Marriage is encouraged for everyone.
  • In Islam, lifelong celibacy or monasticism is forbidden. Marriage is encouraged for everyone.
  • In Hinduism, priests can marry. At the same time, Hindu monks (sanyaasis), who are usually expected to withdraw from samsaara ('the world'), usually practice celibacy. Given no central organizational structure for Hinduism itself as a religion, various deviations from these norms do exist.
  • The traditions of monasticism within Buddhism require celibacy. Several cultures, however, have revised this and now have forms of married lay teachers, who are distinct from the celibate clergy. Many Japanese monks and priests were celibate up to the time of the Meiji Restoration.

Read more about this topic:  Clerical Celibacy

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