What is Dogma

Dogma is a term of Greek origin, with the same pronunciation used in the Portuguese language, and has the meaning of “what appears”, “opinion”, “belief”. It is derived from the Greek verb “dokeo”, which means to think, imagine or suppose.

Dogma is a doctrine or belief that literally means what one thinks is true. These are truths imposed on a religion or ideology, being considered a fundamental and indisputable point of a belief.

In Greek civilization, dogma was linked to a firm thought or doctrine, but it became essentially a religious foundation, considered as absolute truths, which must be accepted through authority and are not subject to questioning.

Dogmas are present in all religions, such as Christianity (with its various aspects defending dogmas that are sometimes totally opposed), Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, among others.

As a fundamental element of religion, dogma is always attributed to theological principles essential to the doctrine in question and its revision or dispute is summarily discarded. Its rejection can be considered blasphemy and heresy and can, in some religions, lead to the expulsion of the individual or group from their belief.

The Catholic Church, through the Inquisition in the Middle Ages, determined the crime of heresy to anyone who doubted the truths of the faith. Heretics could be excommunicated and persecuted, many reaching the death penalty for ideas that contradicted the truths determined by religious authorities.

According to religious teachings, dogmas must be accepted by practitioners of various religions as truths revealed by God in the Bible, being irrevocable even by the highest authority (in the case of the Catholic Church, the Pope).

For Catholics, dogmas are embedded in the Creed, established at the Council of Nicaea in the fourth century. They are also in the canons of the first ecumenical councils and are summarized in the “Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith”, the work of Saint John of Damascus.

Some examples of dogmas of the Catholic Church are the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Assumption of Our Lady, the divine filiation of Jesus, papal infallibility, among others. Protestants also have their dogmas, many of them different from Catholicism and they profess this in their confessions of faith.

What is Dogma

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