Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Church & Religion Law Dictionary

Although fading from prominence in law, the legacy of ecclesiastic, church, religion and theology law is formidable in Roman, civil and common law.

Act of God
An event which is caused solely by the effect of nature or natural causes and without any interference by humans whatsoever.
Actus Dei Nemini Facit Injuriam
Latin: An act of God causes legal injury to no one.
Apostacy
The ancient criminal offence of atheism or not being Christian, or of denying the doctrines of a state religion.
Blasphemy
The scurrilous, deriding or intemperate expression of dissent or criticism of God or a state's official religion.
Canon Law
The law of the Church; based on religious beliefs.
Church
A charitable association of persons organized for the advancement of religion and for the conduct of religious worship, services or rites, and that is permanently established.
Ecclesiastical Law
Church law.
Erunt animae duae in carne una
Latin: two souls in one flesh.
Excommunication
The exclusion of a specified individual from a particular church.
God
Supreme being.
Heresy
A historic criminal offence comprised of the act of public denial of Christian doctrines.
Idolatry
The worship of images or icons or even intangible things.
Islamic Law
The law according to the Muslim faith and as interpreted from the Koran.
Mortmain
French: dead hand. Property taken out of circulation.
Mosaic Law
Ancient law as set out in the first five books of the Bible (Old Testament).
Natural Law
The natural rights of mankind.
Petit Treason
Treason by a servant against his master or a wife against her husband
Priest and Penitent Privilege
A privilege suggesting the exclusion from evidence of matters discussed during a confession between a Roman Catholic priest and a penitent.
Religion
Faith and worship in a god.
Sharia Law
Muslim or Islamic law, both civil and criminal justice as well as regulating individual conduct both personal and moral.
Summa Ratio Est Quae Pro Religione Facit
Latin: The best rule is that which advances religion.
Theocracy
A form of government which defers not to civil development of law, but to an interpretation of the will of a God as set out in religious scripture and authorities.
Tithe
A tenth or a recurring payment to a church usually, but not always, of a tenth of a person's earnings.
Torah
A primary source of Jewish law including the Old Testament of the Bible and subsequent interpretations thereof.

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