Ethics: Holy Evil and Theocracy
Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, Third Edition DOI: 10.1081/E-EPAP3-120053465 Copyright © 2015 by Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.
7 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015
Date Written: February 2015
This article discusses how the concept of holiness can provide a strong source of legitimation and direction for governments. It examines how religion develops from very early conceptions of the holy and how holy people gain a privileged moral and political authority. This authority has historically been either co-opted or used by the clerical class to affect the legitimacy of the governing regime. The paper examines three models by which theocracy develops where the moral authority of the revelation of the Holy becomes embodied in religion. Religion and the clerical class then develop multiple ways to control the state government either indirectly through control of appointment and rhetoric, direct rule by the clerical class or using control over legitimacy to control government indirectly.
Keywords: Ethics, Government, Evil, Theocracy, Holiness, Legimacy
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