Posted by Bob on March 28, 2006
In Reply to: Into the fold posted by Paul Dean on March 28, 2006
: What is the meaning & origin of "into the fold"? as in welcome into the fold, or come into the fold.
: Thank you. Paul Dean
The dictionary (in this case, dictionary. com) defines "fold" as
A fenced enclosure for domestic animals, especially sheep.
A flock of sheep.
A group of people or institutions bound together by common beliefs and aims: "He is a living testament to the wisdom of admitting lay psychoanalysts into the official fold" (Jerome Bruner).
A religious congregation: The priest welcomed new parishioners into the fold.
Many religions (and other organizations) demand sheep-like obedience from members. It promotes coherence, and assures the control of the shepherds.