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The Legal Framework of the Church of EnglandA Critical Study in a Comparative Context$
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Norman Doe

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198262206

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262206.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

Faith and Doctrine

Faith and Doctrine

(p.253) 9 Faith and Doctrine
The Legal Framework of the Church of England

Norman Doe

Oxford University Press

Doctrine may be understood as that body of faith or teaching which is received and believed by those comprising a religious community. Legislators in both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have in part reified faith and doctrine, treating them as entities capable of regulation. Doctrinal law has two facets. On one hand it is used to define and protect the faith, to ensure its public presentation, and to empower the church to develop and reformulate the faith. On the other hand, doctrinal law is used to effect assent to the teaching of the church and to regulate and correct dissent. Moreover, in the context of secular society a large body of state-made law exists to protect the Christian faith from scurrilous public attacks, to enable Christians to practise their faith freely, and to facilitate a minimal religious education. This chapter also discusses religious liberty in secular society, the offence of blasphemy, doctrinal discipline, alteration and evolution of doctrine by the General Synod, and the duty of assent.

Keywords:   Church of England, Roman Catholic Church, doctrine, faith, doctrinal law, dissent, religious education, religious liberty, General Synod, blasphemy

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