- an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church.
- a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption; the recently defined dogma of papal infallibility.
- prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group: the difficulty of resisting political dogma.
- a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle: the classic dogma of objectivity in scientific observation.
Origin of dogma
The origin of the word dogma acts as a reminder to English speakers that now established principles and doctrines were once simply thoughts and opinions of ordinary people that gained popularity and eventually found their way into the universal consciousness of society. Twentieth-century American academic and aphorist Mason Cooley concisely observed that “Under attack, sentiments harden into dogma,” suggesting that dogma is spawned as a defensive act. This idea implies that for every dogma that exists, there is a counter dogma. With so many “truths” out there, there is sure to be a dogma to conveniently fit every set of beliefs.
— Dogma: A film written and directed by Kevin Smith, released in 1999.
—Dogma 95: A movement in cinema started by Danish director Lars von Trier in 1995, which established filmmaking constraints such as no use of special effects.
- "Let it be understood once for all that Catholic dogma does not fix a limit to the operations of reason in dealing with divine truth."-A. N. Littlejohn Catholic Dogma: Its Nature and Obligations Catholic Dogma (1892)
- "Since the time of Moses Mendelssohn (1728–1786), the chief Jewish dogma has been that Judaism has no dogmas."-Israel Abrahams Judaism (1907)
- "To me there was no question so important as the emancipation of women from the dogmas of the past, political, religious, and social."-Elizabeth Cady Stanton Eighty years and more: Reminiscences 1815-1897 (1898)
- "Don't be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice."-Steve Jobs Commencement Address at Stanford University American Rhetoric (delivered June 12, 2005)
Examples from the Web for dogma
Had Herx said “this dogma is sexist,” that would be well beyond the reach of the courts.Catholic Church: Religious Freedom Trumps Civil Rights
November 23, 2014
The Liberal Democrats believe drugs policy should be based on evidence, not dogma or the desire to sound tough.Britain Admits Anti-Drug Laws Are Useless
October 30, 2014
Democrats and independents who oppose their dogma are infidels.The Tea Party Isn’t a Political Movement, It’s a Religious One
July 13, 2014
She says she was released when she feigned acceptance of their dogma.Is This The Scariest Doomsday Sect in China?
June 20, 2014
The dogma that saturated fat causes heart disease is crumbling.The Heart Association’s Junk Science Diet
Dr. Barbara H. Roberts
May 22, 2014
Where was the formula, the dogma, that would satisfy the hopes of the mankind of to-day?
I will yield nothing, whether in discipline, or in rite, or in dogma.
And, once again, forms are of no importance; it is sufficient that dogma should remain.
He laid down this dogma as the necessary basis of any reform by persuasion.Shelley, Godwin and Their Circle
H. N. Brailsford
His transgression had destroyed his faith, and then dogma had tottered.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
- a religious doctrine or system of doctrines proclaimed by ecclesiastical authority as true
- a belief, principle, or doctrine or a code of beliefs, principles, or doctrinesMarxist dogma
Word Origin and History for dogma
c.1600 (in plural dogmata), from Latin dogma "philosophical tenet," from Greek dogma (genitive dogmatos) "opinion, tenet," literally "that which one thinks is true," from dokein "to seem good, think" (see decent). Treated in 17c.-18c. as a Greek word in English.
A teaching or set of teachings laid down by a religious group, usually as part of the essential beliefs of the group.