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{{short description|An official system of principles or doctrines of a religion or a philosophical school}}{{About|established beliefs, doctrines or sets of theological or philosophical tenets|other uses}}{{refimprove|date=August 2018}}{{Certainty}}Dogma is an official system of principles or doctrines of a religion, such as Roman Catholicism,WEB,weblink Dogma, New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, 5 October 2016, or the positions of a philosopher or of a philosophical school such as Stoicism.In the pejorative sense, dogma refers to enforced decisions, such as those of aggressive political interests or authorities.[1], "dogma." | An Encyclopædia Britannica Company, Inc. 1831 | weblink>.WEB,weblink Dogma,, 4 October 2016, More generally, it is applied to some strong belief whose adherents are not willing to discuss it rationally. This attitude is named as a dogmatic one, or as dogmatism; and is often used to refer to matters related to religion, but is not limited to theistic attitudes alone and is often used with respect to political or philosophical dogmas.


The word "dogma" was transliterated in the 17th century from Latin dogma meaning "philosophical tenet" or principle, derived from the Greek dogma (δόγμα) meaning literally "that which one thinks is true" and the verb dokein, "to seem good".WEB,weblink Dogma (n), 2016, Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper, 4 October 2016, WEB,weblink Dogma, The Free Encyclopedia by Farlex, 5 October 2016, The plural, based on the Greek, is "dogmata" ({{respell|dawg-MAH-tah}}), though "dogmas" may be more commonly used in English and other languages.


Formally, the term dogma has been used by some theistic religious groups to describe the body of positions forming the group's most central, foundational, or essential beliefs, though the term may also be used to refer to the entire set of formal beliefs identified by a theistic or non-theistic religious group. In some cases dogma is distinguished from religious opinion and those things in doctrine considered less significant or uncertain. Formal church dogma is often clarified and elaborated upon in its communication.


View or position (Pali {{IAST|diṭṭhi}}, Sanskrit {{IAST|dṛṣṭi}}) is a central idea in Buddhism.{{sfn|Fuller|2005|page=1}} In Buddhist thought, a view is not a simple, abstract collection of propositions, but a charged interpretation of experience which intensely shapes and affects thought, sensation, and action.BOOK, Dan, Lusthaus, Buddhist Phenomenology,weblink Routledge, 2002, 242, n. 46, Having the proper mental attitude toward views is therefore considered an integral part of the Buddhist path, as sometimes correct views need to be put into practice and incorrect views abandoned, while othertimes all views are seen as obstacles to enlightenment.{{sfn|Fuller|2005|pages=1–2}}


Christianity is defined by a set of core beliefs shared by virtually all Christians, though how those core beliefs are implemented and secondary questions vary within Christianity. When formally communicated by the organization, these beliefs are sometimes referred to as 'dogmata.' The organization's formal religious positions may be taught to new members or simply communicated to those who choose to become members. It is rare for agreement with an organization's formal positions to be a requirement for attendance, though membership may be required for some church activities.weblink, "dogma" The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Simon Blackburn. Oxford University Press, 2011 . Protestants to differing degrees are less formal about doctrine, and often rely on denomination-specific beliefs, but seldom refer to these beliefs as dogmata. The first unofficial institution of dogma in the Christian church was by Saint Irenaeus in his Demonstration of Apostolic Teaching, which provides a 'manual of essentials' constituting the 'body of truth'.

Catholicism and Eastern Christianity

For Catholicism and Eastern Christianity, the dogmata are contained in the Nicene Creed and the canon laws of two, three, seven, or twenty ecumenical councils (depending on whether one is Church of the East, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic). These tenets are summarized by John of Damascus in his Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, which is the third book of his main work, titled The Fount of Knowledge. In this book he takes a dual approach in explaining each article of the faith: one, directed at Christians, where he uses quotes from the Bible and, occasionally, from works of other Church Fathers, and the second, directed both at members of non-Christian religions and at atheists, for whom he employs Aristotelian logic and dialectics.The decisions of fourteen later councils that Catholics hold as dogmatic and a small number of decrees promulgated by popes exercising papal infallibility (for examples, see Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary) are considered as being a part of the Church's sacred body of doctrine.


{{See also|Iman (concept)#The Six Articles of Faith}}In Islam the Latin terms dogma and dogmata are used to describe the Quran, Hadith, aqidah.{{citation needed|date=August 2018}}



In Stoicism "dogma" (δόγμα) is a principle established by reason and experience. Stoicism has many dogmas, such as the well-known Stoic dogma "the only good is moral good, and the only evil is moral evil."


In Pyrrhonist philosophy "dogma" refers to assent to a proposition about a non-evident matter.Sextus Empiricus, 'Outlines of Pyrrhonism', I. 13 The main principle of Pyrrhonism is expressed by the word acatalepsia, which connotes the ability to withhold assent from doctrines regarding the truth of things in their own nature; against every statement its contradiction may be advanced with equal justification. Consequently, Pyrrhonists withhold assent with regard to non-evident propositions, i.e., dogmas.Sextus Empiricus, 'Outlines of Pyrrhonism', I. 14 Pyrrhonists argue that dogmatists, such as the Stoics, Epicureans, and Peripatetics, have failed to demonstrate that their doctrines regarding non-evident matters are true.

See also



External links

{{Wiktionary}}{{CE1913 poster|Dogma}}
  • Dogma – Strong's N.T. Greek Lexicon
  • Il Domani – terribile o radioso? – del Dogma, a book by Enrico Maria Radaelli with a Preface by Roger Scruton and comments by Brunero Gherardini, Alessandro Gnocchi-Mario Palmaro, and Mario Oliveri (Roma 2012)
  • Irenaeus. Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching. pp. 70–75. [online] available at: Christian Classics ethereal libraryweblink [Accessed 20 June 2017]

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