A Roman Catholic mendicant order of friars founded in 1215 by St. Dominic. The main distinguishing characteristic of the Dominicans is an emphasis on theological study and preaching.

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A Roman Catholic order founded by the Spanish St. Dominic in 1215 in southern France. The novelties of the new order were the obligation to pursue theological study and the mission to preach doctrine, a task previously regarded as the prerogative of bishops and their delegates alone. This mendicant order features a centralized government and organization and emphasizes missionary work and scholarship, thereby combining an active and a contemplative life. A member belongs to the order, not to any one autonomous house, and can be sent anywhere at any time. Famous Dominican scholars include Albertus Magnus and his pupil St. Thomas Aquinas. The system Aquinas developed was offically adopted by the order in 1278. There is an order of Dominican nuns that grew tremendously in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as a tertiary order of members not enclosed in a monastery. The order is noted for its continued orthodox following of Aquinas' teachings.

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Date Published
December 12, 2012
Last Updated
April 22, 2021