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n. pl. con·fra·ter·ni·ties
An association of persons united in a common purpose or profession.

[Middle English confraternite, from Old French, from Medieval Latin cōnfrāternitās, from cōnfrāter, colleague; see confrere.]


n, pl -ties
a group of men united for some particular purpose, esp Christian laymen organized for religious or charitable service; brotherhood
[C15: from Medieval Latin confrāternitās; see confrère, fraternity]
ˌconfraˈternal adj


(ˌkɒn frəˈtɜr nɪ ti)

n., pl. -ties.
1. a lay brotherhood devoted to some religious or charitable service.
2. a society, esp. of men, united for some purpose or in some profession.
[1425–75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin confrāternitās, derivative of confrāter (see confrere), on the model of Latin frāternitās fraternity]
con`fra•ter′nal, adj.


a brotherhood, especially a group of men bound by a common goal or interest.
See also: Society


 an association of men united together for some profession or object. See also brotherhood, clan, fraternity.
Examples: confraternity of aldermen, 1654; of chimney sweeps, 1688; of men-milliners [‘dandies’], 1885; of monks and friars, 1688; of potters, 1601; of traitors, 1872.
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They discuss governmental, judicial, religious, and familial sources; the estini; urban planning and physical structures; public health; the regulation of food and sumptuary laws; economy and demography; bankers, financial institutions, and politics; civic institutions; conflicts; government; the ruling classes; the church, civic religion, and civic identity; confraternities and civil society; mendicant orders and the repression of heresy; the university; vernacular language and literature; literary culture; miniaturists, painters, and goldsmiths; and art and patronage.
He was canonized in 1690 by Pope Alexander VIII and in 1897 was declared patron of Eucharistic confraternities and societies by Pope Leo XIII.
Down the centuries confraternities have been crucibles of holiness for countless people who have lived in utter simplicity an intense relationship with the Lord.
Ben Vinson acknowledges the importance of confraternities and cabildos in preserving and developing facets of Black culture within Mexico, while simultaneously providing material assistance to free Blacks in times of need (Vinson 2000: 02, Von Germeten 2006).
Brading notes in Church and State in Bourbon Mexico: The Diocese of Michoacan 1749-1810 that there were three functions for confraternities in eighteenth-century Mexico.
In this latest study the writer is keen to discuss the church as an institution rent by, and enriched by, various themes: anti-clericalism; the place of criticism; the role of the bishops and the importance of charges of heresy; the role (often decisive) of the Sovereign--what he calls a 'monarchical church' and the increasingly important place of the laity both in lay education and in the work of confraternities and chantries.
Over the past fifteen years, Pavel Krafl has published extensively in Czech and Polish on the Augustinian canons regular and on their confraternities.
More specifically, I argue that the enslaved Africans of colonial Mexico reconstituted many of the confraternities created by the Catholic Church to make them serve as centers of resistance.
Confraternities also promoted moral reform in the community at large and sponsored much urban charity.
WHILE VERY DIFFERENT IN STYLE and form from the sodalities and confraternities of the Middle Ages, modern faith-sharing groups have very similar results--increasing devotion and inspiring commitment to community.
The final section, "Movers and Shakers," looks at the confraternities, the devots, and the Jansenists.
Chapter fourteen stands out because Bergin leads the reader through the complex history of early modern French confraternities and makes clear their role in furthering the Catholic Reformation.