Theocracy: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

Advertisements

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theocracy is a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler,[1] or in a higher sense, a form of government in which a state is governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.[2] In Common Greek, "theocracy" means a rule [kra′tos] by God [the.os′]. For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e., a church), replacing or dominating civil government.[3] Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws.

Theocracy should be distinguished from other secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God".

A theocracy may be monist in form, where the administrative hierarchy of the government is identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two 'arms,' but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

Contents

History of the concept

The word theocracy originates from the Greek θεοκρατία, meaning "the rule of God". This in turn derives from the Greek words θεός (theós, from an Indo-European root occurring in religious concepts), meaning "god", and κράτειν (krátein), meaning "to rule." Thus the meaning of the word in Greek was "rule by god(s)" or human incarnation(s) of god(s).

It was first coined by Josephus Flavius in the first century A.D. to describe the characteristic government for Jews. Josephus argued that while the Greeks recognized three types of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and anarchy, the Jews were unique in that they had a system of government that did not fit into those categories. Josephus understood theocracy as a fourth form of government in which only God and his law is sovereign. Josephus' definition was widely accepted until the Enlightenment era, when the term started to collect more universalistic and undeniably negative connotations, especially in Hegel's hands.

The first recorded English use was in 1622, with the meaning "sacerdotal government under divine inspiration" (as in Biblical Israel before the rise of kings); the meaning "priestly or religious body wielding political and civil power" is recorded from 1825.

The word has been mostly used to label certain politically unpopular societies as less rational or developed. The concept is used in sociology and other social sciences, but the term is often used inaccurately, especially in popular rhetoric.

In the most common usage of the term theocracy, some civil rulers are leaders of the dominant religion (e.g., the Byzantine emperor as patron of the head of the official Church); the government claims to rule on behalf of God or a higher power, as specified by the local religion, and divine approval of government institutions and laws. These characteristics apply also to a caesaropapist regime. The Byzantine Empire however was not theocratic since the patriarch answered to the emperor, not vice versa; similarly in Tudor England the crown forced the church to break away from Rome so the royal (and, especially later, parliamentary) power could assume full control of the now Anglican hierarchy and confiscate most church property and income.

Taken literally or strictly, theocracy means rule by God or gods and refers primarily to an internal "rule of the heart", especially in its biblical application. The common, generic use of the term, as defined above in terms of rule by a church or analogous religious leadership, would be more accurately described as an ecclesiocracy.[4]

In a pure theocracy, the civil leader is believed to have a direct personal connection with God. For example, a prophet like Moses led the Israelites, and the prophet Muhammad ruled the early Muslims. Law proclaimed by the ruler is also considered a divine revelation, and hence the law of God. An Ecclesiocracy, on the other hand, is a situation where the religious leaders assume a leading role in the state, but do not claim that they are instruments of divine revelation. For example, the prince-bishops of the European Middle Ages, where the bishop was also the temporal ruler. The papacy in the Papal States occupied a middle ground between theocracy and ecclesiocracy, since the pope did not claim he is a prophet who receives revelation from God, but merely the (in rare cases infallible) interpreter of already-received revelation. Religiously endorsed monarchies fall between these two poles, according to the relative strengths of the religious and political organs.

The example which Flavious gave for theocracy, the rule of the Temple of Jerusalem's High Priest, would under the present definition be an Ecclesiocracy, since these (often worldly) priests did not claim to have any revelation or direct connection with God.[citation needed]

Secular governments can also coexist with a state religion or delegate some aspects of civil law to religious communities. For example, in Israel civil marriage is governed by Jewish religious institutions for Jews, by Muslim religious institutions for Muslims, and by Christian religious institutions for Christians. India similarly delegates control of marriage and some other civil matters to the religious communities, in large part as a way of accommodating its Muslim minority. Egypt was run in both monarchic and theocracy in which the pharaoh was the head priest.

Current states with theocratic aspects

Iran

Iran's government is described as a "theocratic republic".[5] Iran's head of state, or Supreme Leader, is an Islamic cleric appointed for life by an elected body called Assembly of Experts.[5] The Council of Guardians, considered part of the executive branch of government, is responsible for determining if legislation is in line with Islamic law and customs (the Sharia), and can bar candidates from elections, and greenlight or ban investigations into the election process.[5]

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's legal system is based entirely on Islamic law, or Sharia. Islamic law dictates anything from prohibitions on non-Muslim proselytism, alcohol, pork products, fornication, and Women's Rights. It also dictates aspects of economic life.[citation needed] See Islamic Banking.

Holy See (Vatican City)

Following the unification of Italy, The Holy See (commonly known as the Vatican or Vatican City) became the last surviving territory of the former Papal States.[6] In 1929, the Holy See was formally recognized as an independent state through treaties with the Italian government.[6] The head of state of the Vatican is the pope, elected by the College of Cardinals, an assembly of senior Catholic clerics.[6] A pope is elected for life, and voting is limited to cardinals under 80 years of age.[6] A secretary of state, directly responsible for international relations, is appointed by the pope.[6] The Vatican legal system is rooted in Canon Law, and subject to the dictates of the pope and changes to Canon Law made by conferences of senior clergy.[6]

Historical theocracies

The largest and best known theocracies in history were the Umayyad and early Abassid Caliphate, and the Papal States. And as with any other state or empire, pragmatism was part of the politics of these de jure theocracies.

Antiquity

An example often given from Antiquity is Pharaonic Egypt when the king was a divine or semi-divine figure who ruled largely through priests. Properly speaking this was originally a caesaropapist order, rather than a theocratic one, since the worldly rulers took charge of religion, rather than vice versa, but once the pharaoh (since Ramses the Great) was recognized as a living (incarnated) god both definitions concurred.[citation needed]

In ancient Greece and Rome denying the gods of the state was a crime. In ancient Rome, the emperors were often deified.[citation needed]

Historical Christian theocracies

Protestant theocracies

Geneva, during the period of John Calvin's greatest influence and the Massachusetts Bay Colony of the "Puritans" had many characteristics of Protestant theocracies.

Florence

During the short reign (1494–1498) of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican priest, the city of Florence could have been considered a theocracy. During his rule, un-Christian books, statues, poetry, and other items were burned (in the Bonfire of the Vanities), sodomy was made a capital offense, and other Christian practices became law.

Deseret

Another ecclesiocracy was the administration of the short-lived State of Deseret, an independent entity briefly organized in the American West by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its original borders stretched from western Colorado to the southern California coast. When the Mormons arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847, the Great Basin was still a part of Mexico and had no secular government. As a result, Brigham Young administered the region both spiritually and temporally through the highly organized and centralized Melchizedek Priesthood. This original organization was based upon a concept called theodemocracy, a governmental system combining Biblical theocracy with mid-19th-century American political ideals, including heavy reliance upon the U.S. Constitution.

The treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo resulted in the Mexican Cession by which Deseret was incorporated into the United States. In 1849, the Saints organized a secular government in Utah, although many ecclesiatical leaders maintained their positions of secular power. The Mormons also petitioned Congress to have Deseret admitted into the Union as a state. However, under the Compromise of 1850, Utah Territory was created and Brigham Young was appointed governor. In this situation, Young still stood as head of the LDS Church as well as Utah's secular government.

After the abortive Utah War of 1857-58, the replacement of Young by an outside Federal Territorial Governor, the eventual resolution of controversies regarding plural marriage, and accession by Utah to statehood, the apparent temporal aspects of LDS theodemocracy receded markedly. However, — like many Christians, Jews, and Muslims — Latter-day Saints regard some form of theocracy with God as the head (king) of a chiliastic world government to be the true political ideal. But, until the Second Coming of Christ, the Mormons teach in their 12th Article of Faith: submission to the powers that be. But true to their beliefs in individual liberty and moral accountability, they exhibit a strong preference for democratic-republican, representative government as embodied in the Constitution of the United States. See also Theodemocracy.

Montenegro

Montenegro offers a singular example of monarchs willingly turning their power to ecclesiastic authority (Serbian Orthodox), as the last of the House of Crnojević (styled Grand Voivode, not sovereign princes) did, in order to preserve national unity before the Ottoman onslaught as a separate millet under an autochthonous ethnarch. When Montenegro re-established secular dynastic succession by the proclamation of princedom in 1851, it did so in favor of the last Prince-bishop, who changed his style from Vladika i upravitelj Crne Gore i Brde "Vladika [bishop] and Ruler of Montenegro and Brda" to Po Bozjoj milosti knjaz i gospodar Crne Gore i Brde "By the grace of God Prince and Sovereign of Montenegro and Brda", thus rendering his de facto dynasty (the Petrović-Njegoš family since 1696) a hereditary one.

Historical Islamic theocracies

In Islam, the period when Medina was ruled by the Islamic prophet Muhammad is, occasionally, classed as a theocracy. By 630, Muhammad had established a theocracy in Makkah. Most Sunni Muslims believe that only the Prophet Muhammad was able to be both a governmental as well as religious leader. Other plausible examples of Islamic theocracy might be Mahdist Sudan and the Taliban state in Afghanistan (1996–2001). Most irregular was the non-permanent rule of the Akhoonds (imams) in the later princely state of Swat, a valley in (first British India's, later Pakistan's) North-West Frontier Province. Theocratic movements arose in the Arab world in the 1970s.

Historical Buddhist theocracies

Unified religious rule in Tibet began in 1642, when the Fifth Dalai Lama allied with the military power of the Mongol Gushri Khan to consolidate the political power and control centered around his office as head of the Gelug school.[7] Prior to 1642, particular monasteries and monks had held considerable power throughout Tibet, but had not achieved anything approaching complete control, though power continued to be held in a diffuse, feudal system after the ascension of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Power in Tibet was held by a number of traditional elites, including members of the nobility, the heads of the major Buddhist sects (including their various tulkus), and various large and influential monastic communities.[8] Tibet during this period existed as a feudal theocracy, with a large class of serfs (consisting largely of non-noble Buddhist laymen) working on estates owned by monastic leaders and members of the secular aristocracy.[9]

Political power was sometimes used by monastic leaders to suppress rival religious schools through the confiscation of property and direct violence.[7][9] Social mobility was somewhat possible through the attainment of a monastic education, or recognition as a reincarnated teacher, but such institutions were dominated by the traditional elites and governed by political intrigue.[8] Non-Buddhists in Tibet were members of an outcast underclass.[8]

Mongolia also had a theocratic lama before the Soviets installed a satellite communist state, but there since the start in 1639, when the son of the Mongol Khan of Urga was named a Living Buddha (Bogdo gegeen), the dynasty espoused theocracy and secular aristocracy[citation needed].

Fictional Theocracies

Depictions of a fictional society dominated by a theocracy are a recurring theme in science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy. Such depictions are mostly dystopian, and in some cases humorous or satyrical.

See also

Islam:

References

  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia "A form of civil government in which God himself is recognized as the head."
  2. ^ "theocracy|Dictionary - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2007-04-25. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theocracy. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  3. ^ "Catholic Encyclopedia: Theocracy". Newadvent.org. 1912-07-01. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14568a.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  4. ^ Stephen Palmquist, Biblical Theocracy: A vision of the biblical foundations for a Christian political philosophy (Hong Kong: Philopsychy Press, 1993), introduced these more precise uses of the terms in arguing that theocracy (in this pure sense) is the only political system defended in the Bible. While Palmquist defends theocracy in this pure form as a viable (though "non-political" political system, he warns that what normally goes by this name is actually ecclesiocracy, the most dangerous of all political systems.
  5. ^ a b c "CIA World Factbook - Iran". Cia.gov. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "CIA World Factbook - Holy See". Cia.gov. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/vt.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  7. ^ a b Davidson, Ronald M. (2004), "Tibet", in Buswell, Jr., Robert E., Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, USA: Macmillan Reference USA, pp. 851–59, ISBN 0028659104 
  8. ^ a b c Lopez, Donald S. (1998), Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 9, ISBN 0226493113 
  9. ^ a b "Friendly Feudalism - The Tibet Myth". Michaelparenti.org. http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 

Further reading

  • Ankerl, Guy (2000). Global communication without universal civilization. INU societal research, vol. 1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU Press. ISBN 2-88155-004-5. 

External links


Theocracy is one form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler,[1] or in a higher sense, a form of government in which a state is governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.[2] In Common Greek, "theocracy" means a rule [kra′tos] by God [the.os′]. For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e., a church), replacing or dominating civil government.[3] Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws.

Theocracy should be distinguished from other secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God".

A theocracy may be monist in form, where the administrative hierarchy of the government is identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two 'arms,' but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

Contents

History of the concept

The word theocracy originates from the Greek θεοκρατία, meaning "the rule of God". This in turn derives from the Greek words θεός (theos, from an Indo-European root occurring in religious concepts), meaning "god", and κρατεῖν (kratein), meaning "to rule." Thus the meaning of the word in Greek was "rule by god(s)" or human incarnation(s) of god(s).

It was first coined by Josephus Flavius in the first century A.D. to describe the characteristic government for Jews. Josephus argued that while the Greeks recognized three types of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and anarchy, the Jews were unique in that they had a system of government that did not fit into those categories. Josephus understood theocracy as a fourth form of government in which only God and his law is sovereign. Josephus' definition was widely accepted until the Enlightenment era, when the term started to collect more universalistic[clarification needed] and negative connotations, especially in Hegel's hands.

The first recorded English use was in 1622, with the meaning "sacerdotal government under divine inspiration" (as in Biblical Israel before the rise of kings); the meaning "priestly or religious body wielding political and civil power" is recorded from 1825.

The word has been mostly used to label certain politically unpopular societies as less rational or developed. The concept is used in sociology and other social sciences, but the term is often used inaccurately, especially in popular rhetoric.

In the most common usage of the term theocracy, some civil rulers are leaders of the dominant religion (e.g., the Byzantine emperor as patron of the head of the official Church); the government claims to rule on behalf of God or a higher power, as specified by the local religion, and divine approval of government institutions and laws. These characteristics apply also to a caesaropapist regime. The Byzantine Empire however was not theocratic since the patriarch answered to the emperor, not vice versa; similarly in Tudor England the crown forced the church to break away from Rome so the royal (and, especially later, parliamentary) power could assume full control of the now Anglican hierarchy and confiscate most church property and income.

Taken literally or strictly, theocracy means rule by God or gods and refers primarily to an internal "rule of the heart", especially in its biblical application. The common, generic use of the term, as defined above in terms of rule by a church or analogous religious leadership, would be more accurately described as an ecclesiocracy.[4]

In a pure theocracy, the civil leader is believed to have a direct personal connection with God. For example, a prophet like Moses led the Israelites, and the prophet Muhammad ruled the early Muslims. Law proclaimed by the ruler is also considered a divine revelation, and hence the law of God. An ecclesiocracy, on the other hand, is a situation where the religious leaders assume a leading role in the state, but do not claim that they are instruments of divine revelation. For example, the prince-bishops of the European Middle Ages, where the bishop was also the temporal ruler. The papacy in the Papal States occupied a middle ground between theocracy and ecclesiocracy, since the pope did not claim he is a prophet who receives revelation from God, but merely the (in rare cases infallible) interpreter of already-received revelation. Religiously endorsed monarchies fall between these two poles, according to the relative strengths of the religious and political organs.

The example which Flavious gave for theocracy, the rule of the Temple of Jerusalem's High Priest, would under the present definition be an Ecclesiocracy, since these (often worldly) priests did not claim to have any revelation or direct connection with God.[citation needed]

Secular governments can also coexist with a state religion or delegate some aspects of civil law to religious communities. For example, in Israel civil marriage is governed by Jewish religious institutions for Jews, by Muslim religious institutions for Muslims, and by Christian religious institutions for Christians. India similarly delegates control of marriage and some other civil matters to the religious communities, in large part as a way of accommodating its Muslim minority. Egypt was run in both a monarchic and theocratic fashion in which the pharaoh was the head priest...

Current states with theocratic aspects

Islamic states

An Islamic state is a state that has adopted Islam, specifically Sharia, as its foundations for political institutions, or laws, exclusively, and has implemented the islamic ruling system khilafah (Arabic خلافة). As such, all Islamic states are theocracies. This includes the states of Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen.

Iran

Iran's government is described as a "theocratic republic".[5] Iran's head of state, or Supreme Leader, is an Islamic cleric appointed for life by an elected body called Assembly of Experts.[5] The Council of Guardians, considered part of the executive branch of government, is responsible for determining if legislation is in line with Islamic law and customs (the Sharia), and can bar candidates from elections, and greenlight or ban investigations into the election process.[5]

Holy See (Vatican City)

Following the unification of Italy, The Holy See (commonly known as the Vatican or Vatican City) became the last surviving territory of the former Papal States.[6] In 1929, the Holy See was formally recognized as an independent state through treaties with the Italian government.[6] The head of state of the Vatican is the pope, elected by the College of Cardinals, an assembly of senior Catholic clerics.[6] A pope is elected for life, and voting is limited to cardinals under 80 years of age.[6] A secretary of state, directly responsible for international relations, is appointed by the pope.[6] The Vatican legal system is rooted in Canon Law, and subject to the dictates of the pope and changes to Canon Law made by conferences of senior clergy.[6]

The State of Israel

Israel operates under a parliamentary system as a democratic republic with universal suffrage.[7] However, Israel is frequently accused of being a theocratic state.[8]

Since Israel was founded by the Zionist movement as a Jewish state, and Judaism as a religion is often conflated Judaism as a nationality,[8] Israel can have the semblance of guiding theocratic principles in its government. Mitchell Bard writes:[8]

By blurring the distinction between nationality and religion, Israelis find themselves frequently accused of living in a theocratic state and in many ways it would seem Israel fits the mold of a sacred state.

Indeed, Israeli writer Gideon Levy in his Haaretz op-ed accuses the country of being a "semi-theocracy", writing, "Between Stockholm and Tehran, Israel of 2009, with its many religious attributes, is closer to Tehran," closing with "Let's admit that we live in a country with many religious and halakhic attributes. Let's remove the concocted secularist guise with which we have wrapped ourselves."[9] Others point out that Israeli citizens have diverse religions, even as the country only grants instant citizenship to Jews.

Such attributes, while appearing somewhat theocratic do not qualify the country as a theocracy, Emanuel Gutman argues:[8]

The organs of government and state power neither derive their legal authority from religion or church nor their legitimation from any divine source. It cannot be claimed with any semblance of realism that state and church are coequal partners in the governance of the state. Indeed, all legal powers of the religious institutions and organs are ultimately devolved upon them by the state.

States with official state religion

Though having a state religion is not sufficient to be a theocracy, it is a theocratic aspect. Many countries have a state religion without government directly deriving its powers from a divine authority. The following states, for example, recognize some form of Christianity as their state or official religion (by denomination):

Roman Catholic

Jurisdictions which recognize Roman Catholicism as their state or official religion:

A number of countries, including Andorra, Argentina,[14] Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Italy,[15] Indonesia, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay,[16] Peru,[17] Poland,[18] Portugal, Slovakia, and Spain,[19] give a special recognition to Catholicism in their constitution despite not making it the state religion.

Eastern Orthodox

Jurisdictions which recognize one of the Eastern Orthodox Churches as their state religion:

  • Cyprus (Cypriot Orthodox Church)[20]
  • Greece (Church of Greece)[21]
  • Finland: Finnish Orthodox Church has a special relationship with the Finnish state.[22] The internal structure of the church is described in the Orthodox Church Act. The church has a power to tax its members and corporations if a majority of shareholders are members. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the state does not have the authority to affect its internal workings or theology.

Lutheran

Jurisdictions which recognize a Lutheran church as their state religion:

  • Denmark (Church of Denmark)[23]
  • Iceland (Church of Iceland)[24]
  • Norway (Church of Norway)[25]
  • Finland: Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland has a special relationship with the Finnish state, its internal structure being described in a special law, the Church Act.[22] The Church Act can be amended only by a decision of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and subsequent ratification by the parliament. The Church Act is protected by the Finnish constitution, and the state can not change the Church Act without changing the constitution. The church has a power to tax its members and all corporations unless a majority of shareholders are members of the Finnish Orthodox Church. The state collects these taxes for the church, for a fee. On the other hand, the church is required to give a burial place for everyone in its graveyards.[26] The Finnish president also decides the themes for the intercession days. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the Finnish state does not have the power to influence its internal workings or its theology, although it has a veto in those changes of the internal structure which require changing the Church Act. Neither does the Finnish state accord any precedence to Lutherans or the Lutheran faith in its own acts.

Anglican

Jurisdictions that recognise an Anglican church as their state religion:

Reformed

Jurisdictions which recognize a Reformed church as their state religion:

Historic states with theocratic aspects

The largest and best known theocracies in history were the Umayyad and early Abassid Caliphate, and the Papal States. And as with any other state or empire, pragmatism was part of the politics of these de jure theocracies.

Antiquity

The king in Pharaonic Egypt was a divine or semi-divine figure who ruled largely through priests. Properly speaking this was originally a caesaropapist order, rather than a theocratic one, since the worldly rulers took charge of religion, rather than vice versa, but once the pharaoh (since Ramses the Great) was recognized as a living (incarnated) god both definitions concurred.

Denying the gods of the ancient Greece and Rome was a crime. Furthermore the emperors of Rome were often deified.

In China (until 1911) and Japan (until 1946) the emperor was also regarded as a god.

Christianity

Geneva, during the period of John Calvin's greatest influence and the Massachusetts Bay Colony of the "Puritans" had many characteristics of Protestant theocracies.

During the short reign (1494–1498) of Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican priest, the city of Florence could have been considered a theocracy. During his rule, un-Christian books, statues, poetry, and other items were burned (in the Bonfire of the Vanities), sodomy was made a capital offense, and other Christian practices became law.

Mormonism

Another ecclesiocracy was the administration of the short-lived State of Deseret, an independent entity briefly organized in the American West by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its original borders stretched from western Colorado to the southern California coast. When the Mormons arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in 1847, the Great Basin was still a part of Mexico and had no secular government. As a result, Brigham Young administered the region both spiritually and temporally through the highly organized and centralized Melchizedek Priesthood. This original organization was based upon a concept called theodemocracy, a governmental system combining Biblical theocracy with mid-19th-century American political ideals, including heavy reliance upon the U.S. Constitution.

The treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo resulted in the Mexican Cession by which Deseret was incorporated into the United States. In 1849, the Saints organized a secular government in Utah, although many ecclesiatical leaders maintained their positions of secular power. The Mormons also petitioned Congress to have Deseret admitted into the Union as a state. However, under the Compromise of 1850, Utah Territory was created and Brigham Young was appointed governor. In this situation, Young still stood as head of the LDS Church as well as Utah's secular government.

After the abortive Utah War of 1857-58, the replacement of Young by an outside Federal Territorial Governor, the eventual resolution of controversies regarding plural marriage, and accession by Utah to statehood, the apparent temporal aspects of LDS theodemocracy receded markedly. However, — like many Christians, Jews, and Muslims — Latter-day Saints regard some form of theocracy with God as the head (king) of a chiliastic world government to be the true political ideal. But, until the Second Coming of Christ, the Mormons teach in their 12th Article of Faith: submission to the powers that be. But true to their beliefs in individual liberty and moral accountability, they exhibit a strong preference for democratic-republican, representative government as embodied in the Constitution of the United States. See also Theodemocracy.

Other

Montenegro offers a singular example of monarchs willingly turning their power to ecclesiastic authority (Montenegrin Orthodox), as the last of the House of Crnojević (styled Grand Voivode, not sovereign princes) did, in order to preserve national unity before the Ottoman onslaught as a separate millet under an autochthonous ethnarch. When Montenegro re-established secular dynastic succession by the proclamation of princedom in 1851, it did so in favor of the last Prince-bishop, who changed his style from Vladika i upravitelj Crne Gore i Brde "Vladika [bishop] and Ruler of Montenegro and Brda" to Po Bozjoj milosti knjaz i gospodar Crne Gore i Brde "By the grace of God Prince and Sovereign of Montenegro and Brda", thus rendering his de facto dynasty (the Petrović-Njegoš family since 1696) a hereditary one.

Islam

The period when Medina was ruled by the Islamic prophet Muhammad is occasionally classed as a theocracy. By 630, Muhammad had established a theocracy in Makkah. Most Sunni Muslims believe that only the Prophet Muhammad was able to be both a governmental as well as religious leader. Other plausible examples of Islamic theocracy might be Mahdist Sudan and the Taliban state in Afghanistan (1996–2001). Most irregular was the non-permanent rule of the Akhoonds (imams) in the later princely state of Swat, a valley in (first British India's, later Pakistan's) North-West Frontier Province. Theocratic movements arose in the Arab world in the 1970s.

Buddhism

Unified religious rule in Tibet began in 1642, when the Fifth Dalai Lama allied with the military power of the Mongol Gushri Khan to consolidate the political power and control centered around his office as head of the Gelug school.[27] Prior to 1642, particular monasteries and monks had held considerable power throughout Tibet, but had not achieved anything approaching complete control, though power continued to be held in a diffuse, feudal system after the ascension of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Power in Tibet was held by a number of traditional elites, including members of the nobility, the heads of the major Buddhist sects (including their various tulkus), and various large and influential monastic communities.[28] Tibet during this period existed as a feudal theocracy, with a large class of serfs (consisting largely of non-noble Buddhist laymen) working on estates owned by monastic leaders and members of the secular aristocracy.[29]

Political power was sometimes used by monastic leaders to suppress rival religious schools through the confiscation of property and direct violence.[27][29] Social mobility was somewhat possible through the attainment of a monastic education, or recognition as a reincarnated teacher, but such institutions were dominated by the traditional elites and governed by political intrigue.[28] Non-Buddhists in Tibet were members of an outcast underclass.[28]

Fictional Theocracies

Depictions of a fictional society dominated by a theocracy are a recurring theme in science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy. Such depictions are mostly dystopian, and in some cases humorous or satyrical.

See also

Christian:

Islamic:

References

  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia "A form of civil government in which God himself is recognized as the head."
  2. ^ "theocracy|Dictionary - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. 2007-04-25. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theocracy. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  3. ^ "Catholic Encyclopedia: Theocracy". Newadvent.org. 1912-07-01. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14568a.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  4. ^ Stephen Palmquist, Biblical Theocracy: A vision of the biblical foundations for a Christian political philosophy (Hong Kong: Philopsychy Press, 1993), introduced these more precise uses of the terms in arguing that theocracy (in this pure sense) is the only political system defended in the Bible. While Palmquist defends theocracy in this pure form as a viable (though "non-political" political system, he warns that what normally goes by this name is actually ecclesiocracy, the most dangerous of all political systems.
  5. ^ a b c "CIA World Factbook - Iran". Cia.gov. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "CIA World Factbook - Holy See". Cia.gov. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/vt.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  7. ^ "Israel". The World Factbook (Central Intelligence Agency). 19 June 2007. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html. Retrieved 20 July 2007 
  8. ^ a b c d http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Politics/theocracy.html
  9. ^ http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/gideon-levy-let-s-face-the-facts-israel-is-a-semi-theocracy-1.2438
  10. ^ The Constitution of Costa Rica, TITLE VI: RELIGION, CostaRicaLaw.com.
  11. ^ Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein: Article 37(2), digital Liechtenstein.
  12. ^ Malta - Constitution, Constitutional Law, Section 2 [State Religion].
  13. ^ CONSTITUTION DE LA PRINCIPAUTE (French): Art. 9., Principaute De Monaco: Ministère d'Etat.
  14. ^ Argentina Constitution: Section 2, Constitutional Law.
  15. ^ "The Constitution of the Italian Republic". http://www.senato.it/documenti/repository/istituzione/costituzione_inglese.pdf. "The State and the Catholic Church are independent and sovereign, each within its own sphere. Their relations are regulated by the Lateran pacts. Amendments to such Pacts which are accepted by both parties shall not require the procedure of constitutional amendments. [...] Denominations other than Catholicism have the right to self-organisation according to their own statutes, provided these do not conflict with Italian law. Their relations with the State are regulated by law, based on agreements with their respective representatives." 
  16. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Paraguay". http://www.servat.unibe.ch/icl/pa00000_.html. "The role played by the Catholic Church in the historical and cultural formation of the Republic is hereby recognized." 
  17. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Peru". http://www.congreso.gob.pe/_ingles/CONSTITUTION_29_08_08.pdf. "Within an independent and autonomous system, the State recognizes the Catholic Church as an important element in the historical, cultural, and moral formation of Peru and lends it its cooperation. The State respects other denominations and may establish forms of collaboration with them." 
  18. ^ "The Constitution of the Republic of Poland". 1997-04-02. http://sejm.gov.pl/prawo/konst/angielski/kon1.htm. "The relations between the Republic of Poland and the Roman Catholic Church shall be determined by international treaty concluded with the Holy See, and by statute. The relations between the Republic of Poland and other churches and religious organizations shall be determined by statutes adopted pursuant to agreements concluded between their appropriate representatives and the Council of Ministers." 
  19. ^ "Spanish , ,Constitution". http://www.congreso.es/portal/page/portal/Congreso/Congreso/Informacion/Normas/const_espa_texto_ingles_0.pdf. "The public authorities shall take into account the religious beliefs of Spanish society and shall consequently maintain appropriate cooperation relations with the Catholic Church and other confessions." 
  20. ^ "Cyprus". U.S. Department of State. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/27433.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  21. ^ THE CONSTITUTION OF GREECE : SECTION II RELATIONS OF CHURCH AND STATE, Hellenic Resources network.
  22. ^ a b Finland - Constitution, Section 76 The Church Act, http://servat.unibe.ch/icl/fi00000_.html.
  23. ^ Denmark - Constitution: Section 4 [State Church], Constitutional Law.
  24. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Iceland: Article 62, Government of Iceland.
  25. ^ Norway - Constitution: Article 2 [Religion, State Religion], Constitutional Law.
  26. ^ "Status of the Finnish State Church in 2007—Privileges of the State Church". eroakirkosta.fi. 7 October 2007. http://www.eroakirkosta.fi/media/english/status_of_the_finnish_state_church_in_2007.html#privileges. Retrieved 2007-10-23 
  27. ^ a b Davidson, Ronald M. (2004). "Tibet". In Buswell, Jr., Robert E.. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism. USA: Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 851–59. ISBN 0028659104 
  28. ^ a b c Lopez, Donald S. (1998). Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 9. ISBN 0226493113 
  29. ^ a b "Friendly Feudalism - The Tibet Myth". Michaelparenti.org. http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 

Further reading

  • Ankerl, Guy (2000). Global communication without universal civilization. INU societal research, vol. 1: Coexisting contemporary civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU Press. ISBN 2-88155-004-5. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Theocracy is either government by divine guidance or, more commonly, government by or subject to religious institutions and leaders.

Sourced

  • In a religious theocracy like Iran "president" is simply a title given to the agent of the religious leadership, no more and no less.
  • My dream is to organize a Christian political party including the Protestant denominations, Catholics and all the religious sects. Then, the communist power will be helpless before ours. We are going to do this because the communists are coming to the political scene. Before the pulpit, all the ministers of the established churches must give their sermon on how to smash or absorb communism — but they are not doing that. We are going to do this. Unless we lay the foundation for this, we cannot carry it out. In the Medieval Ages, they had to separate from the cities — statesmanship from the religious field — because people were corrupted at that time. But when it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world. So, we cannot separate the political field from the religious. Democracy was born because people ruled the world, like the Pope does. Then, we come to the conclusion that God has to rule the world, and God loving people have to rule the world — and that is logical. We have to purge the corrupted politicians, and the sons of God must rule the world. The separation between religion and politics is what Satan likes most.

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Wiktionary-logo-en.png
Look up theocracy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

THEOCRACY (Gr. °Emporia, the rule of God, from Oe6s, god, and -Kparca, Kpam7v, to rule), a term applied to a form of government or to a state ruled by such a form of government, in which God or the divine power is looked to as the source of all civil power, and the divine commandments regarded as the laws of the community. The typical example of such a state is that of the Jews till the establishment of the kingship under Saul (see JEws).


<< Lewis Theobald

Theocritus >>


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


a word first used by Josephus to denote that the Jews were under the direct government of God himself. The nation was in all things subject to the will of their invisible King. All the people were the servants of Jehovah, who ruled over their public and private affairs, communicating to them his will through the medium of the prophets. They were the subjects of a heavenly, not of an earthly, king. They were Jehovah's own subjects, ruled directly by him (comp. 1 Sam. 8:6-9).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)


Simple English

In Theocracy, a form of government, the institutions and people that govern the state are very close to the leaders of the main religion. If the religious leaders do not directly run some bodies of the state, they influence them very much. The word theocracy comes from two Greek words literally meaning God-government, and meaning the government is run by "The Church".

Contents

Modern-day states that resemble Theocracies

Andorra

The Roman Catholic bishop of Urgell is one of the princes of the country. His role is mostly ceremonial.

England

According to the Anglican Church the monarch of England is the supreme governor of the church. In real life, this role is mostly ceremonial though.

Iran

In Iran, two bodies, the Supreme Leader and Guardian Council consist of members who are not elected by the people. These two bodies are staffed by Shia clerics. The highest elected official is the President of Iran.

Mohammad Khatami, the former president, said that this model is an alternative to democracy, as it brings in religious elements. He called it a Religious democracy.

Israel

Some people see traits of theocracy in Israel. This is because rabbinical law and civil law must be mixed for certain aspects. Also, the state hires rabbis. These rabbis also have civil duties, not only religious ones.


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message