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Historical Archaeology & Anthropological Sciences

Review Article Volume 8 Issue 2

Theocratic system of government (Religious Judgment)

Hiba Farooq Haroun

History Department, Jordan University, Jordan

Correspondence: Hiba Farooq Haroun, History Department, Jordan University, Jordan

Received: July 14, 2023 | Published: August 4, 2023

Citation: Haroun HF. Theocratic system of government (Religious Judgment). J His Arch & Anthropol Sci. 2023;8(2):114-122 DOI: 10.15406/jhaas.2023.08.00282

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The systems of governance in the international community vary greatly and we rarely find two States that are entirely similar in institutions of government. If States are larger in size and more in the population, there is a growing interest in the political system that governs them. However, the general division of government systems is limited to the degree of representation of popular will or the imposition of absolute power. A democratic system is talked about in the sense that the power is accountable to an elected parliament, or an absolute system in the sense that the ruler collects all powers, or an aristocratic system in the sense that the power is in the hands of a powerful elite, whether in terms of money, ignorance or feudal property. This division has increased in diversity, taking into account the functions that the system is supposed to perform, the forms in which society is settled, and the goals that it seeks or calls them. One of these is the bureaucratic system or the system of religious rule, which means that the authority and people are subject to the power of the clergy. This provision is not limited to a specific religion but not to other religions. It exists in all religions.

Keywords: theocracy, theocratic rules, theocratic theories (religious theories), thinkers views, theocratic government


The concept of the theocracy

The "Theocracy" is a word of Greek origin and a word (Theokratia) consisting of two built-in words: "Theos", meaning God, and "Kratos", meaning the rule of God, meaning that God is the source of power, but in its common usage the term is meant by the rule of religion or the rule of the clergy, meaning the government of the priests or the religious government.1

Thus, the bureaucracy is a system of government in which the ruler derives his authority or legitimacy directly from the god who represents the supreme political authority, and that divine laws are the applicable civil laws. As experts of these divine laws, the clergy is the authority of God, which they must embody by imposing and applying his heavenly laws. Many ancient people believed that their God had handed down the laws to their governments,2 and it was believed that Hammurabi's laws had descended from the sky.

The bureaucracy is considered one of the types of individual absolute rule, which was ruled by the King through inheritance, and no one may violate it as the successor of God. Whoever disagrees with it violates God, and thus does what he wants. As a result, the concept of theocratic state emerged, which is a religious state in which the church and its judges were devolved with the power of government and the power of legislation in light of the belief in the church's capital, sanctity, and delegation to it.3

Historical background

The bureaucratic system of government is based in a society in which it believes that governance stems from God, and that the power exercised by superiors and their ministers combines time and spirit, so that it was fraught with suspicion and greatness that regulated the conditions of public and private life.

Societies in ancient times, most notably in the east, such as in Egypt,4 have been the "Ordination" communities, where they distribute the necessary work for the motherhood of society to the different factions of the population in sequence. Christianity came, and the spiritual authority was separated from time power as if one of them was a guardian of the other's actions. However, this separation was not in fact complete or comprehensive, and the revolutionary rule spread in which spiritual and temporal power was gathered in the country opened by Muslims, while the Catholic Church recognized to the prince his rights to intervene in time and foreign affairs as if he were out of its control).5 Medieval Popes also held judicial powers, rendered judgments in disputes, denied those who were denied divine pardon, removed kings and acted under their control of the territories. These broad papal powers have diminished by the reign of religious reform, in which the power of kings, politicians and legislators had increased in turn and the contemporary State had become silent.6

The bureaucracy has been an objective aimed at justifying the absolute authority of the rulers over the governed, so that that power might be sacred to people, subject to it and receive its orders out of their own motivation, because the authority of the rulers is derived from God, and they are the successors of God in his land, and they do not ask their people because their authority is absolute, but rather they ask God who gave them this power.

Josephus Flavius was the first to use the term "theocracy" (Josephus Flavius) in the first century AD to describe the existing government of the Jews while the Greeks recognized three types of government: monarchy, aristocracy, and chaotic. The Jewish system of government did not fall under any of the systems of self-government. Josephus presented the bureaucracy as a fourth form of government in which what God says in his Bible is the only source of government.7

The word began to spread, especially as the Church took over all matters. The Church became with broad powers and absolute powers. The concept of the Bureaucratic State became the state governed by priests and monks and governed by the name of religion. In the fourth century CE, towards the end of the Roman Empire, the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (272-337 CE) embraced Christian religion, made Christianity the state religion, which led to the widespread spread of Christianity in Europe, which it controlled. The center of the Empire was moved from Rome to Constantinople, which later led to the control of the church over the rule and subsequent kings.8

Thus, the church considered, in accordance with Constantine's concepts, that the king is the representative of the earthly God, and on this basis is not subject to criticism and opposition from any other power. However, she considered the King inferior to the divine laws represented by the Holy See, where it was said in it: "to submit every soul to the Super-Sultans, because there is no authority except from God and the existing Sultans are the order of God, so that whoever resists the Sultan resists the order of God and the resisters will take for themselves an inferior position, the rulers are not to be intimidated by good deeds but by evil deeds. If you want not to be afraid of the Sultan, do good, then you will have praise from him, because he is God's servant of good, but if you do evil, be afraid, because he does not carry the sword in vain, as he is God's servant, avenging the anger of the one who does evil.9

The exploitation of this text began after Constantine converted to Christianity and considered kings to be the image of God's wisdom on Earth, and so the ancient Christians, especially in ancient Rome, considered Caesar a God, and in Christianity Caesar and God live side by side. Hence, the Christian vocation that began away from the rule became the main religion of the Empire and participation in the rule, where in this period San Ambroise Ambroise de Milan (340-397 ad) appeared, one of the most important thinkers of Christianity who looked at the church and its relations with the state, and said that the authority of the church is higher than everything and even from the emperor, Ambroise said: "he is connected with the Empire because the Empire is Christian ,"but he expects from the emperor act according to Christianity."10

St. Augustine (354-430 ad) also appeared as a leading figure in the Christian world, who believed that social life is sacred and therefore the state is important in people's lives to preserve society. The king must be at the service of God. He believed that the tyranny of the rulers did not justify the revolution against them, and that Christianity should focus on Love and should also emphasize obedience to the state. Augustine called for the unity of the church and its control over the Christian world, and said that it is the light (divine revelation) that gives Man the truths. He believed that there is a city of God (good), and a city of Satan (evil), and that the city of God can be known only through the holy and indisputable authority of the church. After a while, the crisis of the religious and worldly Sultan arose. And the idea of separating the two powers began, religious authority in the hands of the priests and worldly authority in the hands of the tsars. However, religious authority is higher than worldly authority, and the power of churchmen allowed them to interfere in worldly matters and threaten the king if he did not respond.11

Medieval Europe was a model of this kind of government, where the control of the church and its men extended to all aspects of the political, economic and social life of European societies.

Nationalist movements, individual doctrines, and democratic theories emerged as reactions to the transgressive practices of Christian clergy in medieval Europe, and it was that European political thought translated its rejection of the practices of medieval churchmen into a rejection of religion itself, secular movements appeared aimed at the complete separation of religion and politics, asserting that religion has its place not in parliament but in houses of worship, which is the idea on which political societies in Europe and America are based to this day.12 Theocracy or religious rule has continued for many years on the basis of obedience to the divine law as interpreted by the clergy, but the declaration by the Christian state of the autonomy of civil authority and the recognition of freedom of conscience despite the obligation to submit to the church in the communities of Greece, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, and some traces of theocracy are still visible today, as in the government of the Lama in Tibet and may be in the Moroccan regime. A few writers and philosophers still praised the theocratic system after it almost disappeared, as did the French thinker Joseph de Maistre (1754-1821), the author of the pope's book, in which he expresses his opinion on the unification of the world under the authority of the world.13

Theocracy in the West was the enemy of the Renaissance, and the domination of churchmen, and in order for Europe to achieve the Renaissance it had to get rid of that formula, and therefore European philosophers attacked this term, which has become associated with bad connotations, the most important of which is that it is associated with backwardness, tyranny, slavery and oppression, and the powers of Kings had to be at the same time the elimination of the feudal system of the rise of the bourgeois class, the achievement of the modern European Renaissance.14         

Features of theocratic rule

Theocratic (religious) government is one of the systems of absolutism – as mentioned earlier - where it is based on an absolute and totalitarian dogma. He tries to explain everything, his past, present and future, on the basis that "religion is the best solution" for the conduct of world affairs. This interpretation of the nature of the ruling resulted in advantages that I specialize in without others, the most important of which are:

  1. Theocratic government does not recognize pluralism (plurality of opinions) because theocracy means the rule of priests and monks and that the ideas issued by these are as if issued by God, and this will follow that their orders will be obeyed without debate and may not be violated, so there is no place for other ideas that do not fit with him, which inevitably leads to constant conflict with others, dictatorship, tyranny and enslavement. Every disagreement with him becomes disbelief and departure from the straight path. This thought also deprives everyone who does not walk in its spaciousness. He uses hyperbole, puritanism, introversion and commands complete obedience. He is also unable to accept pluralism neither in thought nor in behavior, and he does not accept the legitimate transfer of power between multiple parties, unless it is phased and in the interest of his coming to power, and then the final elimination of democratic pluralism. Dealing with non-believers in it becomes, by virtue of religious logic, dealing with standards other than those with which their groups are treated. The laws become unfair against other sects, minorities, unbelievers and unbelievers, and the equality between citizens is completely eliminated.15
  2. Theocratic government is based on the theory of divine mandate, as we have known, which will necessarily follow that the clergy will be a link between God and the subjects of the church or religion, because they are in one way or another authorized by God as they claim, and that is why the exploitation of believing citizens by the clergy is widespread, and therefore they fall under extortion dyed with religion, and that is why we found the Popes of the church selling indulgences and giving to the gullible of the church the documents of their ownership of lands in Paradise.
  3. A theocratic government in which all the powers belong to the ruler, it combines legislation, implementation and the judiciary, and no one can oppose because if he opposes, he will oppose the will of God. This gives the ruler absolute infallibility because, as we have said, he is authorized by God, so it is not permissible to reject his decisions, which leads him to injustice and tyranny in the name of divine right.
  4. Theocratic rule made the people slaves to rulers and priests, the world was lost and the homeland was ruined and the Inquisition found that many people tasted woe and torment, so the people rebelled against the church and fought it and set up execution platforms for monks and priests because they robbed them of their freedom and robbed them of their humanity, and made their lives an unbearable hell, the rich eat the weak in the name of the church and the real landmarks of the state began to form and take shape.16
  5. In religious theocratic government, facts are considered a status, they have priority over philosophical thinking, and even over scientific facts. legislation in theocracy is based mainly on sacred religious texts that cannot be changed, and everything in them is valid for every place and time and their truths are absolute and cannot be interpreted or distorted, because they considered this philosophy a manifestation of pagan thought. And if Christianity believed that this kind of thought would blind man's eyesight, it held that true knowledge should be derived only from the Bible and the opinions of the church fathers. Thus, other sciences were deprived, their owners were accused of Heretic heresy, they were burned, and the country lagged behind in all natural and Human Sciences.17
  6. In the theocratic state the people are under the tutelage of God. This guardianship is carried out by Guardians of religion who often entrust themselves to themselves and explain to people their religion and all their rights and duties of private and public concern. But in fact, every explanation of religion that reflects the mentality, culture and interests of its commentator, as well as the culture of his time, imposes it on citizens – believers - without any discussion or criticism. Any citizen's jihad must take place within the framework of the supposedly divine legislation, and no questioning of its origins or departure from it can be accepted. Therefore, freedoms were suppressed and people were persecuted.
  7. Theocratic rule helps intransigence and fanaticism Religious Intolerance as a result of the struggle for power between clerics who often move according to their own ambitions to harness religion for political ends, leading to fragmentation in one religion to the emergence of multiple sects, Shiites and different religious parties, which often reach conflict and declared war on each other. Each team claims the full ownership (divine truth) of the conduct of people's affairs in this world and in the next. He also sees in others infidels who must be fought or at least restrained by force in order to understand the truth. They tend to bid in their claim's charges to the point of departure from the axioms of Human Relations, which in some circumstances leads to brutal crimes. All this is under religious slogans.18
  8. Religious government from a political and practical point of view - because of its ideological structure-cannot manage all the affairs of the state. Thus, the complexity of the problems of the modern state - political, economic, scientific, cultural and international relations-requires open and flexible mindsets to deal with countries and peoples with different beliefs and religions. In particular, it needs public ethics recognized in international laws to improve the welfare of the people, guarantee their independence, work for good neighborliness and for World Peace.19
  9. Talking about a religious democracy is practically impossible, unrealistic. Because democracy is the rule of the people, how can democracy be applied when the people become under the control of a cleric - politician, or a politician who makes religion the identity of citizenship, and who determines what should and should not be done in private and public life Even when the principle of democratic elections is applied, the religious authorities choose candidates according to their mentality and faith and reject hundreds of others, and the election papers are grossly falsified. The existence of such elections in this form has nothing to do with democracy, but it is consistent with theocratic rule. Because the basis of authority does not come from the people, but from a metaphysical authority above them, controlled by the Guardians of religion and those who revolve in their orbit, who claim to represent God on Earth.20
  10. Theocratic experiments in the Middle Ages in the West and in modern times and in countries where religion plays a fundamental role in the development of constitutions and civil laws, as all these experiments resulted in a flagrant infringement on human rights, especially women's rights. The movement and development of society stopped and maintained a reactionary, puritanical mentality that was not adapted to the Times, culturally, intellectually and humanely undeveloped. There have been religious extremist movements and groups in these countries that have been raised to hate the other, no matter who and in any place. The religious state also abolishes equality between a man and a woman and sets a specific template for her, attributing it to the divine project and to the nature of a woman, it is not permissible to deviate from it. Thus, women are excluded from active and full participation in the affairs of the state and society, they are subordinate to the will of a man, to his selfish whims. And her fate is done according to his manly desires, because she is naturally inferior to him.21

The meeting of people around one religious faith does not give them the right to impose their faith on others or direct the policy of the state and society according to their beliefs. It is noted historically that the West had a mighty renaissance when it separated religion from the state and limited the rights and duties of The Citizen away from the orders of the clergy, who were interfering in the whole life of the people. Religious rule leads to the persecution of non-believers of this religion and to a neurosis that harms both the state and religion, generates divisions and enmities between citizens. Thus, the state as a whole is painted with a narrow – minded religious character, and (religion-the state) and its institutions become a hotbed for terrorizing people and encroaching on their consciences, public freedoms and even on their lives.22

Theocratic theories

Theocratic or religious theories, which are called Metaphysical theories, are the theories that attribute authority to God, that it is God's creation, and that the authority in it is the authority of God. It is one of the oldest theories in political thought. These theories are based on the fact that the state is a divine system created by God and is the source of power in it, and that the rulers are lined up by God, and therefore their will prevails over the will of the governed, who must be completely subordinate to the will of the rulers. And religious theories are those that attribute the origin of the emergence of the state and the establishment of power to the Divine Will, and therefore the ruler claims that he derives his authority from higher metaphysical forces that transcend human nature.23

These theories have not been mentioned by any of the heavenly religions, and some of the followers of these religions have defended them. These theories gradually reduce the connection between the power of the state and the Divine Will to the extent that it was possible for the human mind to take a step forward through the scientific view of things, starting with the fact that the ruler was considered a God on Earth, and then later to consider the ruler directly chosen by God to exercise power in his name on Earth. It came to the point that the ruler is chosen by God indirectly, i.e., the divine mandate of the rulers, and the proponents of these theories attribute the origin of the emergence of the state and the emergence of power to God, and therefore they demand its sanctification because it is his creation and one of his rights, and the ruler derives his authority according to these theories from God, and thus transcends the governed through the qualities that distinguish him from others, which enabled him to win power, and his will is above the will of the governed. Following the history, we find that this state existed in ancient times, in the Christian era and in the Middle Ages, and its traces disappeared with the beginning of the twentieth century, and over time, the difference began between the supporters of these theories about the method of choosing the ruler, although they agree that the power is God's, and by returning the power in the and by returning the power in the state to the Divine Will and they differed in the interpretation of it.24

When the Christian religion came, it was not exposed to the system of government, but left it to the efforts of people to work with it as they see fit for their lives, and it was enough to call for moral virtues that achieve happiness for humans, such as justice, righteousness, Mercy, charity and many others. These virtues are the pillars on which the general will is built and nourished, and this contributed to a great support for the theory of the general will. Christianity calls for equality among human beings because they are all created by God and refer to him to be held accountable for their worldly deeds and every human being is worthy of appreciation and respect for being a human being only, regardless of his social or material status, and that the Almighty is in control of this universe and that the Supreme laws of God must be subject to the laws of the state and guided by them, and this makes the source of authority is God, he alone is sovereign and his peremptory Authority returns. Although theocratic theories agree that sovereignty belongs to God alone, they differ in the interpretation of this, and therefore determining who has the right to exercise it on the ground has led to the emergence of different trends in thinking crystallized in three different theories: the theory of the divine nature of rulers, the theory of direct divine right, and the theory of indirect divine right.25

First: Theory deify ruling

It is also called the theory of the divine nature of the ruler; this theory is based on the fact that the ruler of a divine nature is worshiped and revered, and this theory determined that the ruler is of a nature other than human nature, that is, he is considered to be of a divine nature, and thus this theory is based on the description of the divine nature of the ruler. The ruler (God) lives among people and rules them. As long as this is the case, the ruling class must deify the ruler and work to sanctify and worship him as a holy God.26

It follows from this concept that these rulers of a divine nature possessed absolute sovereignty, holy and boundless authority over their subjects, and these subjects obeyed them, submitted to them completely and carried out their holy orders scrupulously, without expressing the slightest objection or discussion because they looked at them with reverence and reverence as a goddess. This theory has found many applications in Ancient Kingdoms and empires, such as Greece, the Romans, Egypt and China. In ancient Greek cities, it was believed that the first people to rule in Greece, were creatures of a higher element than man, because they are of divine origin. As was the case for the Roman emperors, the Roman Emperor considered himself a God.27

This theory prevailed in ancient times and civilizations, where it found a wide field for the first man who believed in the existence of hidden forces, relied on them for help and in pursuit of security and tranquility, and then society became dependent on mythology and monasticism, so political power mixed with religion and beliefs, which gave it a lot of sacredness.

So, the ruler and leader became a God who must be obeyed and submitted to and even make offerings to him, and this was what prevailed among the Romans and existed in Greece, Japan, India and Egypt.28

This theory has found a wide field, as a result of man's influence on mythology, he thought that the ruler was a god worshiped, and the ruler was dyed with a divine dye, or considered himself a demigod, and the rulers considered themselves and their subjects to be of a clay other than human clay, as they were considered to be of a divine nature, and there is no doubt that this divine mandate makes the ruler's powers absolute and sacred and above all human discussion or criticism, but humanity took some steps in the course of long history and conflicts occurred and the idea of one God emerged Greek philosophical thought grew up, and it became unreasonable and unacceptable for the ruler to be considered a god or a son of a God, and this theory has found an echo in modern times, the people of Japan were Until the Second World War the emperor was considered as a god worshiped and revered by individuals.29

In Pharaonic Egypt, the Pharaoh was considered to come from the crosses of the gods or to be a God, as he was during the reign of the fourth and fifth dynasties, and they were nicknamed: "Horus", and"RA", which means (God) in the ancient Egyptian language, and these Pharaohs must obey, and make offerings to them, as worship is the worship of the pharaoh, which made the idea of divine monarchy inherent in Egyptian thought, which was exploited by the early dynasties to support their rule, and this later created the conflict between Egyptian and the government of priests.30

In India, the ancient "Manu" laws of Manu granted religious powers to the Kings of the elder god Brahma, where they must be obeyed and revered. This thing disappeared in the Republican era, and returned in the imperial era, and the religion of the emperor was the official religion of the state, and religious rites were performed for the king, and upon his death he became a God and his worship became the new state religion. Thus, the deification of the ruler makes him Holy and it is obligatory to obey him and not to violate him, so he cannot be discussed, criticized or directed.31

And if this theory prevailed in the ancient empires and kingdoms, then it is strange if it finds practical application in some civilized countries in modern times. The people of Japan believed in the divine nature of the emperor "Mikado", which means "Lord of Heaven", and considered him a living God. And the emperor is the source of power and the sovereign, and this belief remained prevalent until the defeat of Japan in World War II, where the divine character of the emperor ended, and the idea of the sovereignty of the emperor, which remained with the imperial dynasty that ruled Japan since its inception, was demolished.32

Second: The theory of direct divine right

This theory differs from the previous one that the ruler is not a god or of a divine nature, but even though he is a human being and does not have a divine nature, he derives his authority to rule directly from God, he is the one who chose him and chose him alone, gave him power, and entrusted him with the task of governing in his country. This theory proceeds from the fact that the state is God's creation, he is the creator of everything, and the proponents of this theory argue that it is God who directly chose the rulers and deposited them with power, and he who chooses Kings directly to rule the Peoples. This theory means that the ruler is not a god or a demigod, but a human being who rules by the choice of God, and as long as the ruler derives his authority from God without interference by humans – since his choice was made outside the scope of their will – it is obligatory to obey him and obey his orders, because her disobedience is considered disobedience to God, and it follows that the ruler's authority over his people is absolute.33

It follows from this that rulers are not asked about their actions in front of their people, but are responsible to God alone for how to use their powers; because it is God who chose and established them, their authority derives from the mandate of the creator of the state and the creator of everything and their authority is directly from God, and only he who the emergence of Christianity, the clergy came out on the people with this theory, in order to demolish the theory of the deification of rulers on the one hand, and to not compromise the absolute power of Rulers on the other hand, hence the And that whoever disobeys the ruler has disobeyed God, because God is the source of power, not the people, and rulers do not ask about their powers except before God, hence it becomes clear that this theory aims to justify the absolute power of rulers and no control over them from their people, and this theory has spread with the advent of Christianity to protect the emperor.34

This theory prevailed in ancient thought, it was believed that in China the emperor derives his authority from heaven, so he has absolute power over the country and the servants. According to the Jewish religion, God is the source of authority and he is the one who can take it away. In the Christian religion, the coercion and punishment of the ruler is because of the first sin, he must always be obeyed, except when he violates the teachings of the Church. St. Paul the Apostle said: "that all people must submit to the higher authorities because God has placed them in the hands of kings and that divine authority has two swords; the sword of religious authority that God has placed in the hands of the pope, and the sword of temporal authority that God has placed in the hands of the emperor, and this is what many churchmen have been called to.35

This theory also prevailed in Europe in the XVII-XVIII centuries in particular, and was embraced by the church, and the Kings of France relied on it to establish their feet in government and impose their powers on the people. Then the theory developed in England and took the form of the sacred right of Kings. in the Golden Age of France, the proverb prevailed that "the king of France derives his king only from God and his sword." Louis XIV (1638-1715) stated in his memoirs that the authority of Kings derives from God and they are responsible to him alone, not from the people, as he says in his memoirs that: "the authority of Kings derives from the introduction of the decree issued by King Louis XV Louis XV in 1770: "We have received the crown only from God, the authority to make laws is our prerogative alone, no one shares it with us, and we are not subordinate in our work to anyone," he said. The theory found an echo in modern times, as the Kings of Europe tried to rely on it to justify and support their absolute authority. The theory remained a support for many kings in supporting their absolute authority and justifying their tyranny to their people. Wilhelm II, The Emperor of Germany, used it, stating in his speech in 1910: "this crown was given to him by God alone...". In another speech he made in 1916 he stated: "The King derives his authority from God, he gives an account only to him".36 Based on this theory, political power was given religious sanctity, which led to the tyranny of Kings over their people and justified their absolute power because they were not accountable to God, but soon this theory faded away due to the vigilance of peoples and the emergence of modern ideas.

Third: Divine providence the theory of the divine right of indirect or divine mandate

This theory appeared in the fifth century AD as a result of the collapse of the Roman Empire, where humanity has come a greater way on the path of Science and advancement, the idea of direct divine truth is no longer palatable to peoples, but it has not completely disappeared, but has developed and crystallized in the form of this theory that: "God does not interfere with his will in determining the form of power or in the way of exercising it," but she argues that power, even if it comes from God, it is the people who make the choice of a certain ruler, but God (God) is the one who guides him to this ruler, divine providence is the one that arranges and sequences incidents and directs and directs the wills of individuals towards the choice of a certain person to rule the state, that is, the people are nothing but a subordinate reason or an instrument for the implementation of the divine will. Some philosophers have developed the theory of direct divine right into the theory of divine providence, as it is divine providence that arranges accidents, directs them in a certain way, and it also guides and helps the will of individuals and clergy, especially towards choosing the system of government that they like, and towards choosing a certain person or a certain family to take over the burdens of government in the state, we find in the fifth century AD that the church took control of the Christian world and the king can no longer exercise his duties only after the Church performs the religious rituals of his coronation, since it is a representative of the Christian people.37

Among the proponents of this theory are Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1647-1704), and Joseph De Mestre Joseph de Maistre (1754-1821), the theory explains the power of the ruler, and expands democracy derived from the will of God, so the ruler can be replaced by power because he derives it from God. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the fifth century, the church became dominant over Christians, and this led to the pope to come and control the ruler, but over time the role of the church declined due to several factors, including economic, social and intellectual.38

This theory has played a very important role in restricting the authority of kings, and in turn contributed to strengthening the authority of the church representing the Christian people, as an intermediary between it and the holy authority that comes from the divine mandate from God. The Catholic Church, in an attempt to extend its influence, believes that God has deposited all powers in the hands of the pope, and he has with him the sword of religious authority, and removed the ruler's sword of temporal authority, and thus the ruler's authority is no longer absolute. And if this theory has contributed to the emergence of some states, but it is based on a doctrinal basis that lacks reason and logic, because it has not been proven historically the existence of this divine mandate for any of the rulers, but the goal was to drop the responsibility of the rulers before the governed, and therefore used like others to perpetuate the tyranny of rulers.39

According to this concept, God grants power to people and elevates them to the rank of ruler in various ways, such as birth and blood, or election and other means by which the people whom he assigned to this rank are called to carry out its burdens. It is the creator who puts rulers in their place, no matter how they come to rule, from which alone they derive power. This is because the omnipotent Divine Will controls all developments and incidents leading to the elevation of some to the functions of governance. The theory in this formulation hardly differs from the theory of direct divine right except in form, if the people have a role in giving some kind of approval or satisfaction to the ruler, then it is not the people who give him authority, because only God is the source and giver of authority, and therefore the rulers represent God, they are his ministers on Earth delegated by him in governing his subjects. Therefore, their orders are binding and it is not permissible to deviate from them, and their disobedience is disobedience to the Lord, who alone owns their account, and it is not for the people to hold them accountable. Obviously, the theory thus justifies the absolute authority of Kings. Theocratic theories have been subjected to multiple criticisms for their remoteness from the sphere of human mental receptivity. Since they are artificial theories only to serve certain interests and to justify the tyranny of the ruling power, especially during the struggle between temporal power and religious power in the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance, some even called for the inadmissibility of calling these theories religious on the grounds that they are not based in essence and content on religion.40

The views of thinkers on theocratic rule

Saint Augustine (354-430 A.D)

Augustine is considered one of the most famous church fathers of antiquity, he was born in the city of Tagaste in the North African country (currently Tunisia), Augustine in his book "The City of God" defended Christianity against Its enemies and stated that the only city that has value is the city built on the values of Christianity (the city of God) and asked the Kings to resort to the authority of the pope because salvation will be achieved only by the church.41

Cardinal Richelieu Le Cardinal duc de Richelieu (1586-1642)

He is a French cardinal, and his name is Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Armand received an education similar to what his peers received in his time. Then he entered the priesthood and became a bishop. With his ecclesiastical life, Richelieu maintained and practiced the spirit of chivalry, led military campaigns, and then turned to politics. He entered the service of the Queen of France Marie domdeschte Mariede Medicis, Richelieu's policy focused on the importance of the role of statesman and the absolute power of the King, a medicine that France needed in its political and social conditions at the time, without paying attention to the opinions of the public, as well as getting rid of the nobles and aristocrats who opposed the king.42

Louis XIV (1638-1715)

Louis was born in 1638, his father died at the age of four, so Cardinal Mazarin took care of him and educated him. In his youth, Louis showed an interest in military life, participated in military campaigns, showed an ability to withstand hardships and troubles. A year after Mazarin's death, Louis took power. Louis XIV was religious, he believed that he was God's substitute on Earth and that he was carrying out the will of the creator, and these concepts were reinforced in his mind as a child, and after Louis came to power in 1661, he began to consider himself the image of God appearing on Earth, or his agent on Earth. The president of the Paris Parliament addressed him four days after his father's death with these words: "Sir, Your Majesty's throne in our eyes is the throne of God". Not surprisingly, Louis later said: "the state is me". Louis impressed all the French with their Sun King, and a belief arose in the people that the king is sacred and should not be treated as an ordinary person. He carries on Earth the sword of God and the balance of his Justice. Louis XIV places God in an indisputably high position according to church definitions, Louis places himself in the theological order after the Angels, makes his connection with Heaven direct and almost mutual. Louis examines the divine origin of power: "he who gave Kings to people wanted them to respect them as his agents. It is the will of God that every born king should obey, without ambiguity or ambiguity". It is the prerogative of the king to lead according to the divine and natural order, Louis says: "it is a corruption of things to give the parishioners the right to make decisions and delegate to the King". All authority is the prerogative of the King. "There is no pursuit, no waiting, and no work that is done only by his will. And his mercy is the only source of all good deeds. And do not think about the advancement only by the amount of his person or his appreciation.43

"This subjugation, which makes the King bound to the law of his people, is the end of the tragedies that lead a man of our level to fall,"Louis commented. He believes that "the people are greedy in their demands: the more you do not please them, the more they despise you". The king must give his authority to judicial institutions. He must refrain from issuing any decrees that contradict the matters referred to. Absolutism has no formal, legal or institutional boundaries. But there are natural limits. And the limit of the King's power is his respect for the divine law.44

Jacques- Pinin bousset (1647-1704)

He is the author of the theory of religious absolutism, which is based on apologetic didactic principles based on theology, philosophy, history and something from sociology. It is the height of absolutism. This theory was preached by the French Bishop Jacques – benigne Bossuet, the greatest orator of his time. Bossuet proceeded from the theory of St. Augustine: "God created man in order to glorify him and convey the truth to the world, but human differences prevented the realization of the divine plan aimed at uniting them into one state and one church". Bossuet was asked to raise the Crown Prince of France in 1670. The French prince was nine years old. Bishop Bossuet spent ten years in his upbringing. He wrote a book to this end, "the mirror of princes" Miroir des princes, filled with quotations from the Old Testament. Most of it revolved around the theory of the divine, sacred right of Kings. We quote from him the following phrases: "God has raised up Kings as his ministers to rule the peoples in his name. The royal throne is not the throne of man, but the throne of God himself. He is the image of God, sitting on his throne in the higher heavens, everything goes in nature. The figures of Kings are sacred: to attack them is a violation of the sanctities". His book "Politics derived from the words of the Bible" la politique tirée des propres paroles de L Ecrature Sainte, published in 1709, is considered one of the mothers of books in political thought.45

John of Salisbury (1115-1180)

John Sal spry put restrictions on the ruler by means of the supreme divine law, so that the people can resist the prince or the ruler if he does not comply with those divine laws, provided that they also fulfill their duties and obligations under this law, because force, the elimination of freedoms and lack of concern for public interests allows revolution against rulers and the killing of tyrants, but it is considered fair and right because they were tyrannized by the sword and did not seem to kill with the same sword, because it is the duty of the prince or ruler to be a servant of his colleagues and the public interest, obeys the law and achieves justice, wealth and moral values.46

Saint Thomas Alaquini (1274-1225)

Thomas Aquinas is a Dominican friar, a theological philosopher and an Italian Catholic saint who is one of the greatest philosophers of Catholicism and is a supporter of the ecclesiastical religious rule, where he adhered to the philosophical origin laid down by the fathers of the church, as he believes in the sanctity of authority because it is from God, he wrote the book "The whole of theology" or the theological collection: it is the most prominent of his books, consisting of three thousand chapters and responses to ten thousand objections. This book is divided into three sections; the first: on the oneness of God, the Trinity and creation, the second: on morality, the third: on dogma, which is classified as the primary reference in the present Catholic curriculum. One of the most important things that St. Thomas addresses in his book is the need to kill heretics, as he says: "with regard to heretics, there are two things to consider: one falls on heretics, and the other falls on the church; what falls on them is sin and error, according to which they deserve not only to be excommunicated from the church, but to be eradicated from the world by death.47

In fact, trying to corrupt the doctrine that leads to the life of the soul is a greater sin than counterfeiting money, which only benefits the earthly life. Therefore, if counterfeiters or criminals are punished immediately by death with due justice, it is obvious that heretics, as soon as they are found guilty, should be treated not only by excommunication from the church, but by killing them with all the truth" ... "But if a person returns to heresy again, it shows that his faith has been shaken. Therefore, if he returns from it again, he will be taken for punishment, with the death penalty not excluded.48

Kevin Phillips (1940)

Four decades ago, Kevin Phillips, a specialist in political strategy at the time, wrote his book "American theocracy", published in 1969, asked several very important questions about American politics and its theocratic approach, in his opinion, and how the demographic and economic changes experienced by America will affect, Phillips says: "Christians who believe in prophecies, usually draw their vision of politics and the world around the signals of some swindlers from evangelical scholars known as, and even the emergence of terrorism". Phillips shows full conviction that the Bush administration reached out to these believers and encouraged them to view the president's policies as a response to premillennialist thought, that is, religious beliefs are the basis on which their policies are based, and not as just a phased planning to convince the people, that is, politics does whatever it wants according to the creation of a culture of national religion.49

Historical examples of theocratic governments

Italian Florence (Firenze)

Florence was under the rule of the Medici family (De' Medici) until the late fourteenth century, and in 1494 the Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola "Girolamo Savonarola" (1452-1498), established a republic in Florence after the overthrow of the Medici rule, after the death of the ruler of Florence Lorenzo the magnificent (Lorenzo de' Medici) in 1492 the city was under the influence of the religious sermons of the monk Savonarola, which enabled him to establish a religious rule based on the teachings of the church with the help of Charles VIII of France, who launched a military campaign against Italy, in 1497, he and his followers carried out a burning of falsehood throughout the Florentine Republic, so they sent boys all over the city, to collect Objects associated with moral decay: such as mirrors, cosmetics, immoral sculptures, pagan books, musical instruments, luxurious dresses, jewelry, immoral works and ancient poetry, were all burned in a large pile in the sovereign square of Florence. Many works of Florentine Renaissance art were lost to Savonarola's fire - including paintings by Michelangelo. It can be called that theocracy during his reign; non-Christian books were burned. Including statues, books of poetry, philosophy, etc. in what was known as the flame of vanity, in addition to making homosexuality a crime punishable by death.50

The Swiss city of Geneva (Geneva)

During the Middle Ages Geneva was the seat of the Kings of the Burgundian region. And in the XI century AD Geneva became a locally governed city of the Holy Roman Empire. During the sixteenth century AD, under the leadership of John Calvin, Geneva became a center of Protestantism and in 1815, the province of Geneva joined the Swiss Confederation. John Calvin developed a theocratic theory of government aimed at subordinating the civil government to the priests, in his book "the Genevan institution of the church City" Calvin tried to mix the political community and the religious community. In it he dealt with the system of religious (theocratic) government proposed by him for the city of Geneva. The city was subordinated to the teachings of God contained in the Bible. He ruled them with a rule far from tolerance. It created a critical situation in Geneva. Because Calvin and his supporters were in revolt against the Catholic Church, and against the Holy Germanic Empire.51

In 1526, Geneva became a sovereign republic, and ten years later, the political liberation of the city was completed at the same time as there was a doctrinal change committed by the entire population, and in 1536 Geneva broke off its relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, having gradually adopted the reformist ideas with the commitment of the population to reform, as the celebration of mass was suspended in 1535, and then the general council in 1536 ratified the official his religious and political reform on the basis of the sovereignty of the church is not subject to political authority but acts in coordination with it, he participated Calvin, in addition to his religious activities, in the preparation of decrees and instructions that would reorganize the legal and political order of Geneva in 1543 so that the state in it is subordinated to the "word of God".

The involvement in the Reformation in 1536 led to the creation of new institutions, such as the Synod on which Calvin built his model of "ecclesiastical Society" as defined by ecclesiastical decrees. The history of Geneva testifies to the mutual influences between the conversion of the inhabitants of the city to a new religion and political independence: a dual process manifested through new institutions. In the history of Europe, Geneva represents a model that affirms a new sovereignty and an institutional adaptation to a doctrinal change. John Knox (1514-1572)52 described the Calvin-era city of Geneva as "the most complete School of Christ that has appeared on Earth since the days of the apostles". The State appeared in the Republic of Geneva, based on the confidence that it receives revelation from the Lord, and that Calvin is confident that God is in imposing what an individual should adhere to by following a certain behavior and professing a certain faith, and is confident of his right to direct the state.53

The German city of Emden

The German city of amden was transformed into a society governed by Calvinist ecclesiastical reformed principles on the model of the Geneva Republic under Calvin, due to the work of the political and religious thinker Johannes althusius Johannes Althusius (1563-1638) born in the German region of Westphalia. Althusius studied in Cologne, Basel and Geneva. And the influence of John Calvin on him was strong. He worked as a professor of law at the University of Harborne, where he authored his book "brief on the political approach". Then he worked as a legal consultant in the city of amden. The principle of this system is based on the theocratic federal system of government, which originated as a symbiotic union based on participation between Catholics and Protestants within the religious sphere.54

The Papal State (Stato Pontificio) or the state of the church (Stato della Chiesa)

The papal state or the state of the church is a name given to the territory ruled by the pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The pope exercised powers (material, economic, military and political), over the Papal States. Most of the states were located in central Italy, with some territories in France, for a short period of time. The Papal States arose in 756 ad and the Papal States began to grow during the reign of Pope Leo IX Pope Leo IX( 1002-1054), in the middle of the eleventh century AD, especially under the leadership of Pope Innocent III Pope Innocent III (1160-1216).55

And in the XVII-XVIII centuries the Papal States deteriorated politically and economically. In 1809, the French emperor Napoleon I, Napoleon Bonaparte, annexed the Papal States. After the defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna returned most of the states to the pope in 1815, but this return was temporary. The citizens of the papal states rebelled against papal rule in 1831, 1848, 1849, and again in 1860. In the revolution of 1860, Victor Emmanuel II Vittorio Emanuele II invaded central Italy. In 1861, Victor Emmanuel announced the formation of the kingdom of Italy. Only the land immediately surrounding Rome remained under the control of the church. The foundation of the kingdom of Italy began with the beginning of a period of political and religious conflict between the popes and the Italian government, known as the Roman question. In 1870, the French troops in Rome withdrew, and Emmanuel seized it. Emmanuel appealed to the citizens of Rome to turn the city into unity, thereby ending the Papal States as a distinct territory under the control of the church. Pope Pius IX has picketed Pope Pius IX at the Vatican in protest, referring to himself as a prisoner.56

Vatico Stato della Città del Vaticano "Vatican City State"

In 1929 the former Roman question was resolved, since in that year an independent Vatican State was established on the basis of the so-called Lateran Treaty (Patti Lateranensi). That treaty was reached, by Pope Pius XI Pope Pius XI and the Italian government. According to this treaty, various financial claims were settled between the parties, with Italy providing cash and financial pledges to the church. In effect, the papacy renounced its claims to the territories of the Papal States. This treaty stipulated that the Vatican City should be fully independent, that the church should have the right of absolute sovereignty within its borders, and that the territory should be considered permanently neutral and immune from violations. The Italian government has accepted both the status of the church as the official religious organ of the state, and the exercise by the Church of its powers in matters of marriage, divorce and the like within Italy. In 1985, the Italian government and the Vatican ratified an amended version of the Lateran Treaty. The amended treaty retained the independence of Vatican City, but abolished other ecclesiastical privileges, including the church as a state-supported religious organ in Italy. In the Vatican State, the "College of Cardinals", an assembly of Catholic clergy, elects the father, who is then president, and the father is elected for a lifetime period, and only Cardinals have the right to elect him, the father appoints the minister of Foreign Affairs responsible for international relations, and the law there is subject to the dictates of the father and meetings held by the clergy.57,1–7

1 Theocracy Dictionary - Webster Online Dictionary,

2 Wind, Sabah Karim, Divine Truth and Social Contract (Comparative Study)، No. 10, Kufa Studies Center Journal,

3 Governorate, Ali, Modern Western Political Thought from the beginning of the 16th century to the 20th century, (in print) p. 70.

4 Pharaoh used to infer his divinity in the ruling by saying: (Am I not the king of Egypt, and these rivers run from under me), and by saying: (I have not learned to you from another God than me), but after the pharaoh of Egypt was drowned by the Prophet Moses, the idea of the divinity of the ruler, Surat al-zikraf, verse 53, disappeared.

5 Winds, theories of divine truth and the social contract, P.100.

6 Spin, George, the development of political thought, translated by Hassan Jalal al-Arusi, Book II, P. 229.

7 He is Yosef Ben mattiyahu HaKohen. A Jewish politician, military and historian from the Roman province of Judea in the Hellenic era. When the first Jewish rebellion broke out (66-70 ad), the new government appointed him military commander of the Galilee region in 66 AD. Yosef HaKohen changed his name to Josephus Flavius. One of the most important of his books is the Jewish War, which he wrote in Aramaic, Al-Messiri, Ahmad, Jews, Judaism and Zionism, (Vol.1), Dar Al-Shorouk, Cairo, 1999, Volume IV, Part I, P. 103.

8 Sources: Gates to Jewish Heritage, Wikipedia

9 Conservatism, modern Western political thought, p. 13.

10 The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, the first chapter of the Holy Gospel


12 Spin, the development of political thought, P. 69.

13 Augustine's Christian philosophy of history viewed life on the basis that it is the practical manifestation of the cosmic struggle between the forces of good and evil, and this struggle is a struggle between the city of God and the city of Satan, the magnificent victory is an ally of the heavenly city and the complete decay and demise is the share of the earthly city،

14 Barnes Harry Elmer-the history of historical writing, New York,2

15 In the fifth century AD, Augustine tried to distinguish between the city of God and the earthly city, considering that this only expresses the position of the Christian Church at that time on the concept: "give what is to Caesar to Caesar and what is to God to God". Commentators and most theologians saw in the text of this verse an explicit declaration of the separation of religion from the state and thus to take a specific position on everything related to the state and politics,


17 Conservative, history of Western political thought, P. 121.

18 Omar, Adel, Sharia in the face of theocratic rule and the religious State, al-Dustour newspaper, No. 2451, dated 19/11/2011, P.26.

19 There are several types of reality and truth with the need to accept the cultural, sexual, ethnic and religious patterns existing between different human politics, it is a political system based on the coexistence of different and independent groups in the administration with their representation in government, and in multiparty it is formed by the adoption of several political parties in a state, a judgment that is made through a process of taking feedback from competing groups from different sectors or from the government itself. Al-bundakji, Al-Ain Mohammed, the concept of pluralism and diversity, Jordanian newspaper Al-Rai, No. 2580, dated 28/01/2015.

20 (The End of Inquisition), Part 4. ( )

21 () Heresy, also called heresy (English: heretical): it is a change in a belief or a stable belief system, especially religion, by introducing new beliefs to it or denying essential parts of it in such a way that after the change it becomes incompatible with the initial belief in which this heresy originated.


23 Martha C. Nussbaum, The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age Paperback –Library of Congress.3

24 Al-Hasani, Abdullah, diplomacy: ethics and career, Riyadh newspaper, No. 15559, dated 25 Safar 1432 Ah/ January 29, 2011 ad.

25 Barhouma, Mohammed, the fall of religious democracy, Al-Ghad newspaper, No. 1043, dated July 8, 2009.

26 Idris, Jafar Sheikh, the religious state and the civil State, Al Bayan magazine, No. 187, 2011.

27 ment .html.

28 Winds, theories of divine truth and the social contract, P.100.

29 Badawi, Tharwat, political systems, (IA), Arab renaissance House, Cairo, 1996, p.124.

30 When Jesus was resurrected, his call was not subjected to the regime, but when some Jews tried to entrap him, saying that he did not pay taxes to Caesar, the "Messiah" asked them to show him what kind of taxes they paid to Caesar. They showed him the coin with the image of Caesar on it, and he said to them (as mentioned in the Christian heritage): give what to Caesar to Caesar and what to God to God, and some Christians later took this saying to separate religion from the state. Here is the text of the verse: "then they sent to him a people of Pharisees and Herodians to hunt him with a word. When they came, they said to him: Teacher, we know that you are sincere and do not care about anyone, because you do not look at people's faces, but by the truth you learn the way of God. Is it permissible to give tribute to Caesar or not Give or not give And he knew their hypocrisy, and he said to them, " why are you trying me?" It's a dinar to look at". So they brought him. And he said to them, " who is this picture and writing for?" And they said to him: "to Caesar". Jesus replied,"Give What is to Caesar to Caesar and what is to God to God". And they marveled at him", the Gospel of Mark 12:12-17))).

31 Badawi, political systems, P.189.

32 Winds, theories of divine right and the social contract, P. 100

33 Al-Jamal, Yahya, contemporary political systems, Dar Al-Nahda Al-Arabiya Beirut, 1969, pp. 70-71.


35 Al-Jamal, contemporary political systems, P. 86.


37 Saleh, Muhammad Ali, the commandments of the Buddha and their impact on the reality of Muslims in Myanmar, master thesis (unpublished), Maulana Malik Ibrahim Islamic State University, Indonesia, 1434 Ah/2013 ad;

38 The Mikado is the ancient title of the emperor of Japan. After the Chinese civilization entered Japan in the sixth century AD, the Japanese began to call their emperor Tino; that is, the Heavenly Emperor. The Japanese ruling family is one of the oldest ruling dynasties in the World, Legends go back

39 The Japanese "Jimo" era of the first emperors' dates back to the year (660 BC.M.) According to the inherited tradition, Jimo descended from the crucifixion of the sun goddess, shubr, Rafi Saleh, the theory of the state and the theory of the Constitution (book under publication), P.58.


41 Winds, theories of divine right and the social contract, P. 100


43 Paul of Tarsus, also known as Paul the apostle or Saint Paul, is one of the leaders of the first Christian generation and the second most important figure in the history of Christianity after Jesus. He is known by Christians as the Apostle of the Gentiles, as they consider him one of the most prominent people who preached this religion because he worked as an apostle of Christ, the Bible: The Gospel of Matthew: {7}: 15-16.

44 Conservative, A History of modern Western political thought, pp. 64-66.

45 Winds, theories of divine truth and the social contract, P.103.

46 Lowith Karl, Meaning in History.4

47 Winds, theories of divine truth and the social contract, P.105.

48 Same as the previous reference, p100

49 The book the city of God consists of 22 chapters; in the first chapters, it tries to prove that the looting, torture and captivity that befell Rome is not alien to the whole of human history, Rome has been plagued by the same as other peoples for centuries because of its power and arrogance. So divine providence cannot be considered responsible, because the fate of man is not decided neither on this earth, nor in the scope of his physical life. Such misfortunes do not affect the essence of his life, and they should not lead him to despair: “temporal life is a beginning that prepares for eternal life". The city of God, by St. Augustine, translated by John El Helou, volume I (Books 1-10), Vol.2, Dar El Shorouk, Beirut, 2006.

50 Conservatism, a history of modern Western political thought, P. 60.

51 Same as the previous reference, p64

52 Same as the previous reference, p65 - 66

53 Conservative, history of Western political thought, P. 67.

54 Spain, the development of political thought, P.155.

55 Conservative, A History of Western political thought, pp. 5-6.

56 Kevin Phillips (political commentator), (political _commentator)

57 The flame of vanity: in Italian (Falò delle vanità) refers to the burning of what is considered to lead to sin. The most notorious was on February 7, 1497, when Savonarola's supporters burned thousands of objects such as cosmetics, art and books in Florence, Italy, at the Mardi Gras Festival.


The intellectual and political theories of the systems of government and the establishment of states, governments and systems of government differed, and their intellectual and ideological methods differed as a result of the differences between thinkers and philosophers about the origin of the origin of those systems and their references. Therefore, many types of theories have appeared expressing the views of these philosophers and thinkers, including those important theories (theocratic theory), represented by the theory of divine right, and this theory is considered one of the most important theories that appeared in ancient times, although it actually emerged in the Middle Ages, but it took shape in its distinctive form during the reign of Louis XIV of France (1642-1750) as the Kings and their supporters resorted to the theory of divine right to strengthen their success against the popular pressure represented by the bourgeoisie at that time, and the emergence of the renaissance led to the emergence of a number of the thinkers and reformers who addressed their appeal to the tyrannical Kings to the effect that they are not of an element superior to the human element, and they rule According to the rules agreed upon from time immemorial, and that they must submit to these conditions as a prerequisite for the obedience of individuals to them because the contract has always carried mutual obligations.



Conflicts of interest

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