dogma


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dogma

1. a religious doctrine or system of doctrines proclaimed by ecclesiastical authority as true
2. a belief, principle, or doctrine or a code of beliefs, principles, or doctrines

Dogma

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Although the word "dogma" was first used by the Greeks some four hundred years before Christ, it has come to be associated with the collective, intellectual theology of the Church. Dogma now refers to orthodoxy, that which must be believed because tradition has come to a consensus that it is true.

But dogma is always under fire. Whereas the Church of the third and fourth centuries met in council to determine its content, the Church of the nineteenth century subjected it to critical analysis.

In most civilized countries, those who disagree with Christian dogma are no longer subjected to inquisitors and papal courts of inquiry. Such is not the case, however, with other religions. When Salman Rushdie dared question Islamic dogma in his book The Satanic Verses, he discovered, much to the embarrassment and outright horror of many Muslims, that an Islamic bounty had been placed on his head, payable upon his death.

In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, people have sometimes judged the dogmatic letter of the law so severely that they have overturned its spirit. Enforcing dogma is yet another example of how a good thing, meant to inform and support, can become a misguided tool of punishment.

References in periodicals archive ?
1958: Pius XII's death marked the end of a century of excessive Marian cults by the Pius popes that had begun with the definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854.
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Dogma includes contradictory rules which are often added or amended on the spot, such as: "Dogma is spartan.
This collection examines the papal dogma in relation to Scripture and early patristic understandings, post-Reformational retrievals on the historical views pertaining to the papal office prior to the formalization of the dogma, systematic theological treatments on the Petrine ministry and infallibility, and ecumenical analyses on the Petrine office--by renowned ecumenists such as Cardinal Walter Kasper, Vatican advisor Hermann Pottmeyer, Cardinal Kurt Koch (President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity), German Lutheran Harding Meyer, American Lutheran Michael Root, and American Methodist Geoffrey Wainwright.
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