something belonging to all the members of a GROUP which therefore identifies the specific NATURE of that group distinguishing it from other things or particulars. Philosophically the question of universals and particulars or the "one and the many" has been important since the time of the Greeks and many answers have been offered to the basic questions raised. For example
   What is it that leads us to call poodles and fox terriers dogs and not cats? The quality of "dogness" is the universal.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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