Judicial Review

Introduction The U.S. case Marbury v. Madison (1803) held that the power of a court to decide what is the meaning of the American Constitution was implicit in an independent judiciary. This power of judicial review in the U.S. was a unique feature of the U.S. constitutionalism well into the […]


Collectivism Definition Collectivism is a term used to denote a political or economic system in which the means of production and the distribution of goods and services are controlled by the people as a group. Generally this refers to the state. Opposite of Free Enterprise Collectivism […]


Globalisation and Law Globalisation and Europe There is an entry on globalisation in the European legal encyclopedia. Resources See Also Further Reading Entry "Globalisation" in the work "A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein", by Rodney […]

Canon Law

Orthodox ChurchesFor more information about this section, in the context of legal history, see the main entry in this legal encyclopedia. Protestant ChurchesFor more information about this section, in the context of legal history, see the main entry in this legal encyclopedia. The […]


DENOMINATIONALISMThe term denomination was innovated in the late seventeenth century by those groups of Christians in England who dissented from the established Church of England but considered themselves to be entirely loyal to the British state and recognized the monarch as having rights with respect to the Church of England. In 1702, specifically, the Presbyterians, … Read more


Violence Definition Violence may be defined as a physical attack of another person. Activities that may legally involve violence include hunting, law enforcement, sports, and war. Crime includes many illegal forms of violence. The first point that has to be clarified is the meaning of the […]

Economic Discrimination

Economic Discrimination Definition Economic Discrimination, refusal to do business on equal terms with members of a disfavored group. Information For information on: * legality of economic discrimination, see Discrimination * motives for economic discrimination, see Prejudice; […]

Trade Dispute

Legal Definition of Trade Dispute The term "labor dispute"is a broad one and can refer to, at least, two different groups of conflicts. The first one includes any controversy concerning terms or conditions of employment, or concerning the association or representation of persons in […]

Natural Law

A typical definition of natural law which overstressed the universality of the concept was provided by Olivecrona (1971: 8): In contradistinction to positive law, 'natural law' generally means a law that has not been posited. Even if it is ascribed to the will of God, it is supposed to […]


Introduction to Sociology Sociology may be defined as the scientific study of human social relations or group life. See more definitions of Sociology in the Legal Dictionary. Other disciplines within the social sciences-including economics, political science, anthropology, and […]


WELLNESS The healing arts and religion have experienced ambivalent and, at times, conflicting relationships. The ancient Greeks were aware that the whole/”well” person was a balance of different “temperaments” and was simultaneously influenced by several internal and external sources—ecology, lifestyle (including diet), drugs and herbs, and the body’s internal fluids—”the four humors.” The individual was … Read more


WITCHCRAFT, WITCHES (WICCA) Witches and witchcraft are associated with some of the most horrifying episodes in western European and American history. Some historians estimate that upward of one million people were put to death for allegedly being witches during several centuries in Europe, with the major persecutions occurring in the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries (Johnson … Read more


MAX WEBER (1864-1920) German political economist and sociologist, originally trained in jurisprudence. Faculty member, for most of his life adjunct, at the University of Heidelberg, and from 1904 editorial director of the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik . Author of a prodigious corpus, including the essays The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism , … Read more


VOLUNTEERISM Volunteering is the main mode by which religious and service agencies in pluralistic societies staff the so-called independent, voluntary sector and implement its basic programs and goals with a maximum of part-time, unpaid, nonprofessional “volunteers” (even though many might be former, retired professionals). Tocqueville noted that the “New World” adopted a pattern of denominational … Read more


VIOLENCE The (usually intentional) use of harmful force; studies involving religion include examinations of international religious violence (e.g., Indian and Pakistani tensions), violence between groups and society (e.g., the Sikh nationalist movement), violence among groups (e.g., Protestants versus Catholics in Northern Ireland), violence among members (e.g., members’ murders of other Jonestown followers), and violence against … Read more


VATICAN II The Second Vatican Council in Roman Catholicism, 1962-1965, which was the first “ecumenical” church council of Roman Catholics since Vatican I in 1869-1870, was convened by Pope John XXIII with the explicit purpose of aggiornamento , that is, updating the church to function in modern society. According to Roman Catholic teaching, an ecumenical … Read more


ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE (1805-1859) French social theorist and politician; the outstanding classical interpreter of religion’s role in modern American democracy and prerevolutionary France. The son of an aristocratic and monarchist family, Tocqueville’s travels in America, England, and Ireland led him to a reformist political stance in support of democratic institutions. Before traveling to America and … Read more


THEORY The attempt to explain or account for religion and its role in society as well as in individual experience; systematic social scientific theories begin primarily in the nineteenth and early twentieth century with such writers as Marx, Weber, Durkheim and his school, Freud, Troeltsch, James, and others. Although more recent work builds on these … Read more


TELEVANGELISM Term first used by Jeffrey K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann in Prime Time Preachers: The Rising Power of Televangelism (Addison-Wesley 1981) to describe a new form of religious broadcasting combining television and evangelism. Televangelism also is referred to as “the electric church” by religious broadcasters, especially Ben Armstrong (The Electric Church , Nelson … Read more


TECHNOLOGY Application of science to the solution of human problems. The use of technology traditionally has been viewed as somewhat problematic by theologians and religious leaders. On the one hand, technology brings forth new practices and procedures that pose ethical dilemmas. Such is the case with the development of effective artificial birth control methods, which … Read more


TAOISM Religious and philosophical tradition of China founded on the philosophy of mystic Lao Tzu (or Tze), a contemporary of Confucius (although some doubt exists regarding his historicity, the name simply meaning Old One or Old Master). A central concept of Taoism is the Tao , or the Way, which involves a state of acceptance … Read more


TABOO Also tabu, tapu, kapu ; a prohibition of acts and/or contacts dangerous to the doer and his or her group. Captain James Cook first heard the word in 1777 at Tonga and found the idea of taboo even more prevalent on the Sandwich Islands. Cook discovered that the term had wide usage among various … Read more


SUBSIDIARITY Although now one of the core terms in Catholic social thought, to expect for the term subsidiarity any substantive content or any specific rule for its application would be a case of misplaced concreteness. The term captures the aspiration that polities and administrations have responsibilities for “distributive justice” in ways that promote “social” or … Read more


STRATIFICATION A structure of social inequality in which individuals and groups have an unequal share in the distribution of power, privilege, and prestige in society. Over the years, social scientists have investigated the relationship between religion and social inequality. Researchers have focused on issues such as the impact of inequality on religion, the effect of … Read more


STATUS Of considerable significance for social scientific investigations of the origins, development, and decline of a wide variety of religious ideologies, movements, and institutions. Like other concepts that seek to impose sociological rigor on familiar societal terminology, status is subject to a number of distinct (although overlapping) usages that sometimes generate confusion. The Legal Context … Read more


SPIRITUALISM Religious and social movement based on the belief that it is possible to communicate with the deceased after their bodily death. Although mediumship exists in many societies, the American Spiritualist Movement was launched in 1848 with mysterious knockings in a house in Hydesville, New York. The phenomena, thought to be caused by spirits, attracted … Read more


SOUTHERNIZATION The process whereby the distinctive cultural forms associated with the American South spread to other geographic regions of the United States. Scholarly attention in the 1970s to the disappearance of regional distinctiveness in the United States—the homogenization of American culture—included examination of how the South was becoming more like the rest of the nation … Read more


ROLES Comprehensive patterns of behavior and attitudes, constituting a strategy for coping with a recurrent set of situations (Turner 1990). A social role is played by different individuals and supplies a major basis for identifying and placing persons in a group, organization, or society. Roles consist of rights, duties, and expected behavior and give stability … Read more


SOCIALIZATION The process by which values, norms, attitudes, and behavior, shared by the subjects who belong to a particular group, are transmitted to a new member. It is the process whereby people learn to conform to social norms, a process that makes possible an enduring society and the transmission of its culture and religion between … Read more


SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY A subdiscipline of both sociology and psychology, yet much of the two major disciplines is actually social psychology. If sociology deals with social categories or groups and if psychology deals with individuals, social psychology involves the intersection of the social and the individual where the individual is influenced by the social and, in … Read more


SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Network-configured collectivities that seek to promote or resist political and/or cultural change on the basis of shared group identity. As Stanford Lyman (1995:397) has observed, “In virtually all their various manifestations in the United States, social movements have proclaimed a salvational message, each has sought to cure the soul of either the nation, … Read more


SOCIAL JUSTICE Has a long history in Western religious writings in relation to the concept of the distribution of a society’s resources according to people’s needs. It has roots in the Bible, particularly in the prophets and in Leviticus, and in the works of early Christian writers. Within the past hundred years, it has found … Read more


SOCIAL INTEGRATION Referring primarily to how the parts of a society operate as a whole, the notion of integration has a long sociological pedigree, but one fraught with imprecision. Social integration generally refers to the way shared cultural goods receive normative expression, and also to the functional interdependence of the parts of a social system … Read more


SOCIAL CONTROL All the material and symbolic resources, including religious resources, available to a society to ensure that the behavior of its members complies with certain prescribed and sanctioned rules. It is related to the problem of social order. Social control concerns the requirements of social living; it is the result of people’s actions directed … Read more


SEXUALITY AND FERTILITY Religion and sexuality are cohabitors in history and across cultures (see Weber 1946:343-350). Sexuality and sexual practice are regulated by religious belief and doctrine; religious ritual may prescribe sexual activity including intercourse with gods or their earthly representatives; gods may be seen in myths as engaging in sexual work leading to the … Read more


SEXISM Millions of believers gather regularly in churches, synagogues, and other “holy” places to worship a higher power, learn the doctrines and principles of their faith, socialize with other followers, and celebrate a particular form of “family life.” Commensurate with the faith messages are admonitions concerning the rights and responsibilities of men, women, and children … Read more


SEMINARIES AND SEMINARIANS “Seminary” (from the Latin seminarium , meaning “seed plot”) was adopted by Roman Catholic Church fathers at the Council of Trent (sixteenth century) as the designation for settings where candidates for the priesthood could be nourished and formed in their vocations apart from distracting “worldly” influences. In the United States, “theological seminary” … Read more

Para Donaciones

As a gift, you will also receive a free limited-edition WIRED branded YubiKey, a device that adds convenient 2FA security to protect your online accounts, networks, and more. Click here to learn more about YubiKey. How does my subscription help support WIRED?WIRED employs award-winning, industry-leading journalists, designers, and engineers — all of whom take great … Read more

Adversarial System

Adversarial System The term adversary system sometimes characterizes an entire legal process, and sometimes it refers only to criminal procedure. In the latter instance it is often used interchangeably with "accusatorial procedure,"and is juxtaposed to the […]


Statute as a Written Law "Statute, formal, written law enacted by a legislature, which may take the form of either an act or a resolution, as opposed to unwritten, or common, law, which is usually determined by custom or court decisions. In the U.S., federal and state statutes must […]