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The nature of sin and crime: spiritual and civil jurisdictions compared

Doe, Norman ORCID: 2020. The nature of sin and crime: spiritual and civil jurisdictions compared. Doe, Christopher, Witte, John, Helmholz, RH and Hill, Mark, eds. Christianity and Criminal Law, London: Routledge, pp. 97-115. (10.4324/9781003015260)

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Churches of the different Christian traditions throughout the world accept and justify theologically their right to discipline the faithful – to glorify God, protect the integrity of the Church, safeguard the vulnerable from harm and promote the spiritual benefit of its members. The purposes of secular criminal law are based on similar concepts of order and protection from harm. Ecclesiastical offences are employed across the Churches, but are usually expressed with a higher degree of generality than in secular criminal law. Ecclesial norms in Church disciplinary tribunals – their establishment, composition, jurisdiction and due process – mirror those in secular law. The theological category of “sin” as violation of divine law is wider than “crime” in secular law, but rarely appears in Church law lists of penal offences. Church disciplinary sanctions, for the medicinal purpose of reforming the offender and for the Church’s spiritual welfare, differ from punishments in secular criminal law.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Law & Politics
Centre for Law and Religion (CLR)
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781003015260
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 June 2023
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2023 12:24

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