theocracy


theocracy
theocratic /thee'euh krat"ik/, theocratical, adj.theocratically, adv.
/thee ok"reuh see/, n., pl. theocracies.
1. a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, the God's or deity's laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.
2. a system of government by priests claiming a divine commission.
3. a commonwealth or state under such a form or system of government.
[1615-25; < Gk theokratía. See THEO-, -CRACY]

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Government by divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided.

In many theocracies, government leaders are members of the clergy, and the state's legal system is based on religious law. Theocratic rule was typical of early civilizations. The Enlightenment marked the end of theocracy in most Western countries. Contemporary examples of theocracies include Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Vatican. See also church and state; divine kingship.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • THEOCRACY — THEOCRACY, literally the rule of God, but generally applied to mean a state ruled by religious law. In the first century C.E. Josephus created the term theocracy to describe the people of Israel s polity. Some peoples have entrusted the supreme… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Theocracy — The*oc ra*cy, n. [Gr. ?; ? God + ? to be strong, to rule, fr. ? strength: cf. F. th[ e]ocratie. See {Theism}, and cf. {Democracy}.] 1. Government of a state by the immediate direction or administration of God; hence, the exercise of political… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • theocracy — n. 1 A country or state whose government derives its power directly from God or another divine spirit. 2 A country or state in which government powers are vested in the clergy. Webster s New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000 …   Law dictionary

  • theocracy — (n.) 1620s, sacerdotal government under divine inspiration (as that of Israel before the rise of kings), from Gk. theokratia the rule of God (Josephus), from theos god (see THEA (Cf. Thea)) + kratos a rule, regime, strength (see CRACY (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • theocracy — ► NOUN (pl. theocracies) ▪ a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god. DERIVATIVES theocratic adjective. ORIGIN from Greek theos god …   English terms dictionary

  • theocracy — [thē äk′rə sē] n. pl. theocracies [Gr theokratia: see THEO & CRACY] 1. lit., the rule of a state by God or a god 2. government by a person or persons claiming to rule with divine authority 3. a country governed in this way theocrat [thē′ō krat΄]… …   English World dictionary

  • Theocracy — …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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