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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(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.

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
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In reply to the shame-as-ugly dogma, the authors argue that since the moral color of a particular shame episode will be painted by the particular value(s) to which it correlates, and since our self-relevant values may or may not be morally good, shame is as likely to elicit prosocial and adaptive behaviors (such as due repentance towards those we have injured or actions aimed at self-reform) as it is to act upon us in a maladaptive way.
In a work he characterizes as part history of economic thought and part economic methodology, King (economics, La Trobe U., Australia) traces the history of the dogma that the larger economy is an aggregate of decisions made by individuals, more specifically by RARE--representative agents with rational expectations.
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