Theocracy

Theocracy

Overview
Theocracy is a form of organization in which the official policy is to be governed by immediate divine
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided, or simply pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religious sect or religion.

From the perspective of the theocratic government, "God himself is recognized as the head" of the state, hence the term theocracy, from the Greek "rule of God", a term used by Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 for the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

A theocracy may have an administrative hierarchy
Hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

 of the government identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two 'arms,' but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

Theocracy should be distinguished from other, secular, forms of government that have a state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

".

The word theocracy originates from the Greek , meaning "the rule of God".
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Encyclopedia
Theocracy is a form of organization in which the official policy is to be governed by immediate divine
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided, or simply pursuant to the doctrine of a particular religious sect or religion.

From the perspective of the theocratic government, "God himself is recognized as the head" of the state, hence the term theocracy, from the Greek "rule of God", a term used by Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 for the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

A theocracy may have an administrative hierarchy
Hierarchy
A hierarchy is an arrangement of items in which the items are represented as being "above," "below," or "at the same level as" one another...

 of the government identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two 'arms,' but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

Theocracy should be distinguished from other, secular, forms of government that have a state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held "By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

".

History of the concept


The word theocracy originates from the Greek , meaning "the rule of God". This in turn derives from the Greek words (theos), meaning "god", and (kratein), meaning "to rule." Thus the meaning of the word in Greek was "rule by god
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

(s)" or human incarnation(s) of god(s).

It was first coined by Josephus Flavius in the first century A.D. to describe the characteristic government for Jews. Josephus argued that while the Greeks recognized three types of government: monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

, aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

, and anarchy
Anarchy
Anarchy , has more than one colloquial definition. In the United States, the term "anarchy" typically is meant to refer to a society which lacks publicly recognized government or violently enforced political authority...

, the Jews were unique in that they had a system of government that did not fit into those categories. Josephus understood theocracy as a fourth form of government in which only God and his law is sovereign. Josephus' definition was widely accepted until the Enlightenment era, when the term started to collect more universalistic and negative connotation
Connotation
A connotation is a commonly understood subjective cultural or emotional association that some word or phrase carries, in addition to the word's or phrase's explicit or literal meaning, which is its denotation....

s, especially in Hegel's hands.

The first recorded English use was in 1622, with the meaning "sacerdotal government under divine inspiration" (as in Biblical Israel before the rise of kings); the meaning "priestly or religious body wielding political and civil power" is recorded from 1825.

The word has been mostly used to label certain politically unpopular societies as less rational or developed. The concept is used in sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 and other social sciences, but the term is often used inaccurately, especially in popular rhetoric.

In the most common usage of the term theocracy, some civil rulers are leaders of the dominant religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 (e.g., the Byzantine
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 emperor as patron of the head of the official Church); the government claims to rule on behalf of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 or a higher power, as specified by the local religion, and divine approval of government institutions and laws. These characteristics apply also to a caesaropapist
Caesaropapism
Caesaropapism is the idea of combining the power of secular government with, or making it superior to, the spiritual authority of the Church; especially concerning the connection of the Church with government. The term caesaropapism was coined by Max Weber, who defined it as follows: “a secular,...

 regime. The Byzantine Empire however was not theocratic since the patriarch answered to the emperor, not vice versa; similarly in Tudor England the crown forced the church to break away from Rome so the royal (and, especially later, parliamentary) power could assume full control of the now Anglican hierarchy and confiscate most church property and income.

Taken literally or strictly, theocracy means rule by God or gods and refers primarily to an internal "rule of the heart", especially in its biblical application. The common, generic use of the term, as defined above in terms of rule by a church or analogous religious leadership, would be more accurately described as an ecclesiocracy.

In a pure theocracy, the civil leader is believed to have a direct personal connection with God. For example, a prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

 like Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 led the Israelites, and the prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 ruled the early Muslims. Law proclaimed by the ruler is also considered a divine revelation, and hence the law of God. An ecclesiocracy, on the other hand, is a situation where the religious leaders assume a leading role in the state, but do not claim that they are instruments of divine revelation. For example, the prince-bishop
Prince-Bishop
A Prince-Bishop is a bishop who is a territorial Prince of the Church on account of one or more secular principalities, usually pre-existent titles of nobility held concurrently with their inherent clerical office...

s of the European Middle Ages, where the bishop was also the temporal ruler. The papacy in the Papal States occupied a middle ground between theocracy and ecclesiocracy, since the pope did not claim he is a prophet who receives revelation from God, but merely the (in rare cases infallible) interpreter of already-received revelation.
Religiously endorsed monarchies fall between these two poles, according to the relative strengths of the religious and political organs.

The example which Flavious gave for theocracy, the rule of the Temple of Jerusalem's High Priest
Kohen Gadol
The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem...

, would under the present definition be an Ecclesiocracy, since these (often worldly) priests did not claim to have any revelation or direct connection with God.

Secular governments can also coexist with a state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

 or delegate some aspects of civil law to religious communities. For example, in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 civil marriage is governed by Jewish religious institutions for Jews, by Muslim religious institutions for Muslims, and by Christian religious institutions for Christians. India similarly delegates control of marriage and some other civil matters to the religious communities, in large part as a way of accommodating its Muslim minority.
Egypt was run in both a monarchic and theocratic fashion in which the pharaoh was the head priest...

Islamic states


An Islamic state
Islamic State
An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

 is a state that has adopted Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, specifically Sharia, as its foundations for political institutions, or laws, exclusively, and has implemented the Islamic ruling system khilafah (Arabic: خلافة), and is therefore a theocracy. Although there is much debate as to which states or groups operate strictly according to Islamic Law, Sharia is the official basis for state laws in the following countries: Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia
Islam in Somalia
Nearly all Somalis are Sunni Muslims. Practicing Islam reinforces distinctions that further set Somalis apart from their immediate African neighbors, many of whom are either Christians or adherents of indigenous faiths....

, Sudan
Religion in Sudan
Religion plays an important role in Sudan, with most of the country's population adhering to Islam, Animism, or Christianity. More than half Sudan's population was Muslim in the early 1990s. Most Muslims , lived in the north, where they constituted ca 85% percent or more of the population...

, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania
Mauritania
Mauritania is a country in the Maghreb and West Africa. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, by Western Sahara in the north, by Algeria in the northeast, by Mali in the east and southeast, and by Senegal in the southwest...

, Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. In Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, the constitution provides that states may elect to use Shari'a laws and courts, though non-Muslims are not required in any state to submit to Shari'a jurisdiction and adherence varies by state.

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 maintains religious courts for all aspects of law and has religious police to maintain social compliance. Also Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 maintains religious courts for all aspects of law and has religious police to maintain social compliance, while its government is described as a "theocratic republic
Islamic republic
Islamic republic is the name given to several states in the Muslim world including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian...

". Iran's head of state, or Supreme Leader, is appointed for life by an elected body called Assembly of Experts
Assembly of Experts
The Assembly of Experts of Iran , also translated as Council of Experts, is a deliberative body of 86 Mujtahids that is charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities.Members of the assembly are elected from a government-screened list of candidates by...

. The Council of Guardians, considered part of the executive branch of government, is responsible for determining if legislation is in line with Islamic law and customs (the Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

), and can bar candidates from elections, and greenlight or ban investigations into the election process. While Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 has Islam as its only official religion, it is not a theocracy as its political power is not held by priests and religious heads claiming to represent a God.

Holy See (Vatican City)



Following the unification of Italy, Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

 became the last surviving territory of the former Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

. In 1929, the State of Vatican City was formally recognized as an independent state through treaties with the Italian government. The head of state of the Vatican is the pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, elected by the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.A function of the college is to advise the pope about church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory. It also convenes on the death or abdication of a pope as a papal conclave to elect a successor...

, an assembly of Senatorial-princes of the Church, who are usually clerics, appointed as Ordinaries, but in the past have also included men who were not bishops nor clerics. A pope is elected for life, and voting is limited to cardinals under 80 years of age. A Secretary for Relations with States, directly responsible for international relations, is appointed by the pope. The Vatican legal system is rooted in canon law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

 but ultimately is decided by the pope; the Bishop of Rome as the Supreme Pontiff, "has the fullness of legislative, executive and judicial powers." The government of the Vatican can also be considered an ecclesiocracy (ruled by the Church).

Central Tibetan Administration


The Central Tibetan Administration
Central Tibetan Administration
The Central Tibetan Administration , is an organisation based in India with the stated goals of "rehabilitating Tibetan refugees and restoring freedom and happiness in Tibet". It was established by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1959 shortly after his exile from Tibet...

, colloquially known as the Tibetan government in exile, is a Tibetan exile organisation with a state-like internal structure. According to its charter, the position of head of state of the Central Tibetan Administration belongs ex officio to the current Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama is a high lama in the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" branch of Tibetan Buddhism. The name is a combination of the Mongolian word далай meaning "Ocean" and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning "teacher"...

, a religious hierarch. In this respect, it continues the traditions of the former government of Tibet, which was ruled by the Dalai Lamas and their ministers, with a specific role reserved for a class of monk officials.

On March 14, 2011, at the 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

's suggestion, the parliament of the Central Tibetan Administration began considering a proposal to remove the Dalai Lama's role as head of state in favor of an elected leader.

Israel


Israel operates under a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 as a democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 with universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

. However, Israel is frequently described as being a theocratic state.

Since Israel was founded by the Zionist movement as a Jewish state, and Judaism as a religion is often conflated with Judaism as a nationality, Israel can have the semblance of guiding theocratic principles in its government. Mitchell Bard
Mitchell Bard
Mitchell Geoffrey Bard is an American foreign policy analyst, editor and author who specializes in U.S.-Middle East policy. He is the Executive Director of the non-profit American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise , and the director of the Jewish Virtual Library.-Education:Bard received his B.A...

 writes:
Indeed, Israeli writer Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist.Levy writes opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz that often focus on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories...

 in his Haaretz
Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...

 op-ed
Op-ed
An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page , is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper's editorial board...

 opines the country is a "semi-theocracy", writing, "Between Stockholm and Tehran, Israel of 2009, with its many religious attributes, is closer to Tehran", closing with "Let's admit that we live in a country with many religious and halakhic
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

 attributes. Let's remove the concocted secularist guise with which we have wrapped ourselves." Others point out that Israeli citizens have diverse religions, even as the country only grants instant citizenship
Law of Return
The Law of Return is Israeli legislation, passed on 5 July 1950, that gives Jews the right of return and settlement in Israel and gain citizenship...

 to Jews.

Such attributes, while appearing somewhat theocratic do not qualify the country as a theocracy, Emanuel Gutman argues:

States with official state religion


Though having a state religion is not sufficient to be a theocracy, it is a theocratic aspect. Many countries have a state religion without government directly deriving its powers from a divine authority. The following states, for example, recognize some form of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 as their state or official religion (by denomination):

Roman Catholic


Jurisdictions which recognize Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 as their state or official religion:
  • Costa Rica
    Costa Rica
    Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

  • Liechtenstein
    Liechtenstein
    The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

  • Malta
    Malta
    Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

  • Monaco
    Monaco
    Monaco , officially the Principality of Monaco , is a sovereign city state on the French Riviera. It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about from Italy. Its area is with a population of 35,986 as of 2011 and is the most densely populated country in the...

  • Some cantons of Switzerland
    Cantons of Switzerland
    The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the member states of the federal state of Switzerland. Each canton was a fully sovereign state with its own borders, army and currency from the Treaty of Westphalia until the establishment of the Swiss federal state in 1848...

     (state religion):
    • Appenzell Innerrhoden
      Appenzell Innerrhoden
      Appenzell Innerrhoden is the smallest canton of Switzerland by population and the second smallest by area, Basel-City having less area.-Foundation:...

       (declared "religion of the people of Appenzell Innerrhoden")
    • Aargau
      Aargau
      Aargau is one of the more northerly cantons of Switzerland. It comprises the lower course of the river Aare, which is why the canton is called Aar-gau .-History:...

    • Basel-Country
      Basel-Country
      Basel-Landschaft , is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland. The capital is Liestal...

    • Berne
      Canton of Berne
      The Canton of Bern is the second largest of the 26 Swiss cantons by both surface area and population. Located in west-central Switzerland, it borders the Canton of Jura and the Canton of Solothurn to the north. To the west lie the Canton of Neuchâtel, the Canton of Fribourg and Vaud. To the south...

    • Glarus
      Canton of Glarus
      The Canton of Glarus is a canton in east central Switzerland. The capital is Glarus.The population speaks a variety of Alemannic German.The majority of the population identifies as Christian, about evenly split between the Protestant and Catholic confessions.-History:According to legend, the...

    • Graubünden
      Graubünden
      Graubünden or Grisons is the largest and easternmost canton of Switzerland. The canton shares borders with the cantons of Ticino, Uri, Glarus and St. Gallen and international borders with Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein...

    • Nidwalden
      Nidwalden
      Nidwalden is a canton of Switzerland. It is located in the centre of Switzerland. The population is 40,287 of which 4,046 are foreigners. The capital is Stans.-History:...

    • Schwyz
      Canton of Schwyz
      Schwyz is a canton in central Switzerland between the Alps in the south, Lake Lucerne in the east and Lake Zurich in the north, centered around and named after the town of Schwyz....

    • Thurgau
      Thurgau
      Thurgau is a northeast canton of Switzerland. The population, , is . In 2007, there were a total of 47,390 who were resident foreigners. The capital is Frauenfeld.-History:...

    • Uri
      Canton of Uri
      Uri is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and a founding member of the Swiss Confederation. It is located in Central Switzerland. The canton's territory covers the valley of the Reuss River between Lake Lucerne and the St. Gotthard Pass. German is the primary language spoken in Uri...



A number of countries, including Andorra
Andorra
Andorra , officially the Principality of Andorra , also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra, , is a small landlocked country in southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. It is the sixth smallest nation in Europe having an area of...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

,Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, and Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, give a special recognition to Catholicism in their constitution despite not making it the state religion.

Eastern Orthodox


Jurisdictions which recognize one of the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

es as their state religion:
  • Greece
    Greece
    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

     (Church of Greece
    Church of Greece
    The Church of Greece , part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, is one of the autocephalous churches which make up the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

    )
  • Finland
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

    : Finnish Orthodox Church
    Finnish Orthodox Church
    The Finnish Orthodox Church is an autonomous Orthodox archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church has a legal position as a national church in the country, along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland....

     has a special relationship with the Finnish state. The internal structure of the church is described in the Orthodox Church Act. The church has a power to tax its members and corporations if a majority of shareholders are members. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the state does not have the authority to affect its internal workings or theology.

Lutheran


Jurisdictions which recognize a Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 church as their state religion:
  • Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

     (Church of Denmark
    Church of Denmark
    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, Church of Denmark or Danish National Church, is the state church and largest denomination in Denmark and Greenland...

    )
  • Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

     (Church of Iceland
    Church of Iceland
    The National Church of Iceland, or Þjóðkirkjan, formally called the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, is the state church in Iceland. Like the established churches in the other Nordic countries, the National Church of Iceland professes the Lutheran branch of Christianity. Its head is the...

    )
  • Norway
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

     (Church of Norway
    Church of Norway
    The Church of Norway is the state church of Norway, established after the Lutheran reformation in Denmark-Norway in 1536-1537 broke the ties to the Holy See. The church confesses the Lutheran Christian faith...

    )
  • Finland
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

    : Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
    Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
    The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is the national church of Finland. The church professes the Lutheran branch of Christianity, and is a member of the Porvoo Communion....

     has a special relationship with the Finnish state, its internal structure being described in a special law, the Church Act. The Church Act can be amended only by a decision of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and subsequent ratification by the parliament. The Church Act is protected by the Finnish constitution, and the state can not change the Church Act without changing the constitution. The church has a power to tax its members and all corporations unless a majority of shareholders are members of the Finnish Orthodox Church
    Finnish Orthodox Church
    The Finnish Orthodox Church is an autonomous Orthodox archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church has a legal position as a national church in the country, along with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland....

    . The state collects these taxes for the church, for a fee. On the other hand, the church is required to give a burial place for everyone in its graveyards. The Finnish president also decides the themes for the intercession days. The church does not consider itself a state church, as the Finnish state does not have the power to influence its internal workings or its theology, although it has a veto in those changes of the internal structure which require changing the Church Act. Neither does the Finnish state accord any precedence to Lutherans or the Lutheran faith in its own acts.

Anglican


Jurisdictions that recognise an Anglican church as their state religion:
  • England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

     (Church of England
    Church of England
    The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

    ): In England the Monarch is both head of state and head of the church. The rest of the UK is however not Anglican (although Anglican minorities exist within the other three countries) and the Act of Union demands that the Monarch sit only as an ordinary member of the National Presbyterian Church of Scotland
    Church of Scotland
    The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

     when in Scotland and not interfere with the affairs of the church.

Reformed


Jurisdictions which recognize a Reformed
Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin...

 church as their state religion:
  • Tuvalu
    Tuvalu
    Tuvalu , formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls...

     (Church of Tuvalu
    Church of Tuvalu
    The Christian Church of Tuvalu, in Tuvaluan - Te Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu - is the national church of Tuvalu. It comprises 92% of the 12,000 inhabitants of the archipelago....

    )

Historic states with theocratic aspects



The largest and best known theocracies in history were the Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 and early Abassid Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, and the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

. And as with any other state or empire, pragmatism
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

 was part of the politics of these de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

 theocracies.

Antiquity


The imperial cult
Imperial cult
An imperial cult is a form of state religion in which an emperor, or a dynasty of emperors , are worshipped as messiahs, demigods or deities. "Cult" here is used to mean "worship", not in the modern pejorative sense...

s in Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 and elsewhere deified the ruling monarch, so that the state religion was dedicated to the worship of the ruler as a deity, or the incarnation of a deity.

Early Israel was ruled by Judges before instituting a monarchy. The Judges were believed to be representatives of YWH or Jehovah God.

In ancient and medieval Christianity, Caesaropapism
Caesaropapism
Caesaropapism is the idea of combining the power of secular government with, or making it superior to, the spiritual authority of the Church; especially concerning the connection of the Church with government. The term caesaropapism was coined by Max Weber, who defined it as follows: “a secular,...

 is the doctrine where a head of state is at the same time the head of the church.

Christian


Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, during the period of John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

's greatest influence and the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Massachusetts Bay Colony
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of North America in the 17th century, in New England, situated around the present-day cities of Salem and Boston. The territory administered by the colony included much of present-day central New England, including portions...

 of the "Puritans" had many characteristics of Protestant theocracies.

During the short reign (1494–1498) of Girolamo Savonarola
Girolamo Savonarola
Girolamo Savonarola was an Italian Dominican friar, Scholastic, and an influential contributor to the politics of Florence from 1494 until his execution in 1498. He was known for his book burning, destruction of what he considered immoral art, and what he thought the Renaissance—which began in his...

, a Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 priest, the city of Florence could have been considered a theocracy. During his rule, un-Christian books, statues, poetry, and other items were burned (in the Bonfire of the Vanities
Bonfire of the Vanities
Bonfire of the Vanities refers to the burning of objects that are deemed to be occasions of sin. The most infamous one took place on 7 February 1497, when supporters of the Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects like cosmetics, art, and books in...

), sodomy
Sodomy
Sodomy is an anal or other copulation-like act, especially between male persons or between a man and animal, and one who practices sodomy is a "sodomite"...

 was made a capital offense, and other Christian practices became law.

Although having a lay ruler (the King of Jerusalem) the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem
Outremer
Outremer, French for "overseas", was a general name given to the Crusader states established after the First Crusade: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Tripoli and especially the Kingdom of Jerusalem...

 (1099-1299) is considered to have some Theocratic influences.

Also the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector is also considered to have a considerable amount of theocratic influence.

Mormonism


Another ecclesiocracy was the administration of the short-lived State of Deseret
State of Deseret
The State of Deseret was a proposed state of the United States, propositioned in 1849 by Latter-day Saint settlers in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government...

, an independent entity briefly organized in the American West by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its original borders stretched from western Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

 to the southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

 coast. When the Mormons arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, the fourth-largest terminal lake in the world. In an average year the lake covers an area of around , but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its...

 in 1847, the Great Basin
Great Basin
The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America and is noted for its arid conditions and Basin and Range topography that varies from the North American low point at Badwater Basin to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than away at the...

 was still a part of Mexico and had no secular government. As a result, Brigham Young
Brigham Young
Brigham Young was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the Western United States. He was the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1847 until his death in 1877, he founded Salt Lake City, and he served as the first governor of the Utah...

 administered the region both spiritually and temporally through the highly organized and centralized Melchizedek Priesthood. This original organization was based upon a concept called theodemocracy
Theodemocracy
Theodemocracy is a political system that combines elements of theocracy and democracy.One concept of theodemocracy was theorized by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement...

, a governmental system combining Biblical theocracy with mid-19th-century American political ideals, including heavy reliance upon the U.S. Constitution.

The treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo resulted in the Mexican Cession
Mexican Cession
The Mexican Cession of 1848 is a historical name in the United States for the region of the present day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S...

 by which Deseret was incorporated into the United States. In 1849, the Saints organized a secular government in Utah, although many ecclesiatical leaders maintained their positions of secular power. The Mormons also petitioned Congress to have Deseret admitted into the Union as a state. However, under the Compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War...

, Utah Territory
Utah Territory
The Territory of Utah was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 4, 1896, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Utah....

 was created and Brigham Young was appointed governor. In this situation, Young still stood as head of the LDS Church as well as Utah's secular government.

After the abortive Utah War
Utah War
The Utah War, also known as the Utah Expedition, Buchanan's Blunder, the Mormon War, or the Mormon Rebellion was an armed confrontation between LDS settlers in the Utah Territory and the armed forces of the United States government. The confrontation lasted from May 1857 until July 1858...

 of 1857–1858, the replacement of Young by an outside Federal Territorial Governor, the eventual resolution of controversies regarding plural marriage
Plural marriage
Polygamy was taught by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for more than half of the 19th century, and practiced publicly from 1852 to 1890.The Church's practice of polygamy has been highly controversial, both within...

, and accession by Utah to statehood, the apparent temporal aspects of LDS theodemocracy
Theodemocracy
Theodemocracy is a political system that combines elements of theocracy and democracy.One concept of theodemocracy was theorized by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement...

 receded markedly. However, — like many Christians, Jews, and Muslims — Latter-day Saints regard some form of theocracy with God as the head (king) of a chiliastic world government to be the true political ideal. But, until the Second Coming of Christ, the Mormons teach in their 12th Article of Faith: submission to the powers that be. But true to their beliefs in individual liberty and moral accountability, they exhibit a strong preference for democratic-republican, representative government as embodied in the Constitution of the United States.

Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...


Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro
Prince-Bishopric of Montenegro
Prince-Bishopic of Montenegro was а theocratic state spanning Montenegrin state that existed from 1516 – 1851...

 offers a singular example of monarchs willingly turning their power to ecclesiastic authority (Montenegrin Orthodox), as the last of the House of Crnojević
House of Crnojevic
The Crnojević was a medieval Serb noble house that held Zeta, or parts of it; a region corresponding to north of Lake Skadar , from 1326 to 1362, then 1403 until 1515. The progenitor, Đuraš Ilijić, was head of Upper Zeta in the Serbian Kingdom and Empire The Crnojević was a medieval Serb noble...

 (styled Grand Voivode, not sovereign princes) did, in order to preserve national unity before the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 onslaught as a separate millet
Millet (Ottoman Empire)
Millet is a term for the confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire. It refers to the separate legal courts pertaining to "personal law" under which communities were allowed to rule themselves under their own system...

 under an autochthonous ethnarch
Ethnarch
Ethnarch, pronounced , the anglicized form of ethnarches refers generally to political leadership over a common ethnic group or homogeneous kingdom. The word is derived from the Greek words and ....

. When Montenegro re-established secular dynastic succession by the proclamation of princedom in 1851, it did so in favor of the last Prince-bishop
Prince-Bishop
A Prince-Bishop is a bishop who is a territorial Prince of the Church on account of one or more secular principalities, usually pre-existent titles of nobility held concurrently with their inherent clerical office...

, who changed his style from Vladika i upravitelj Crne Gore i Brde "Vladika (Bishop) and Ruler of Montenegro and Brda" to Po Bozjoj milosti knjaz i gospodar Crne Gore i Brde "By the grace of God
By the Grace of God
By the Grace of God is an introductory part of the full styles of a monarch taken to be ruling by divine right, not a title in its own right....

 Prince and Sovereign of Montenegro and Brda", thus rendering his de facto dynasty (the Petrović-Njegoš family since 1696) a hereditary one.

Islam


The period when Medina
Medina
Medina , or ; also transliterated as Madinah, or madinat al-nabi "the city of the prophet") is a city in the Hejaz region of western Saudi Arabia, and serves as the capital of the Al Madinah Province. It is the second holiest city in Islam, and the burial place of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and...

 was ruled by the Islamic prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 is occasionally classed as a theocracy. By 630, Muhammad had established a theocracy in Makkah. Most Sunni Muslims believe that only the Prophet Muhammad was able to be both a governmental as well as religious leader. Other plausible examples of Islamic theocracy might be Mahdist Sudan and the Taliban state in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 (1996–2001). Also the governing is also done by a Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 with smaller levels of governing done by Qazi also known as Qadi
Qadi
Qadi is a judge ruling in accordance with Islamic religious law appointed by the ruler of a Muslim country. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and secular domains, qadis traditionally have jurisdiction over all legal matters involving Muslims...

. Most irregular was the non-permanent rule of the Akhoond
Akhoond
An akhoond is a Persian name for a Muslim cleric, common in Iran, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. The Dungani word for imam "ahond", in Mandarin "阿訇", used in particular by the Dungans, also derives from this term....

s (imams) in the later princely state
Princely state
A Princely State was a nominally sovereign entitity of British rule in India that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian ruler under a form of indirect rule such as suzerainty or paramountcy.-British relationship with the Princely States:India under the British Raj ...

 of Swat
State of Swat
Swat was a province of the Mughal Empire ruled by local rulers known as the Akhwands, then until 1947 a princely state of the British Indian Empire, which was dissolved in 1947, when the Akhwand acceded to Pakistan...

, a valley in (first British India's, later Pakistan's) North-West Frontier Province
North-West Frontier Province
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province and various other names, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country...

. Theocratic movements arose in the Arab world in the 1970s.

Buddhism


Unified religious rule in Tibet began in 1642, when the Fifth Dalai Lama allied with the military power of the Mongol Gushri Khan to consolidate the political power and center control around his office as head of the Gelug school.
This form of government is known as the dual system of government
Dual system of government
The Dual System of Government or Cho-sid-nyi is the traditional diarchal political system of Tibetan peoples whereby the Desi coexists with the spiritual authority of the realm, usually unified under a third single ruler. The actual distribution of power between institutions varied over time and...

. Prior to 1642, particular monasteries and monks had held considerable power throughout Tibet, but had not achieved anything approaching complete control, though power continued to be held in a diffuse, feudal system after the ascension of the Fifth Dalai Lama. Power in Tibet was held by a number of traditional elites, including members of the nobility, the heads of the major Buddhist sects (including their various tulku
Tulku
In Tibetan Buddhism, a tulku is a particular high-ranking lama, of whom the Dalai Lama is one, who can choose the manner of his rebirth. Normally the lama would be reincarnated as a human, and of the same sex as his predecessor. In contrast to a tulku, all other sentient beings including other...

s), and various large and influential monastic communities. As the modern Chinese
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 describes it, Tibet during this period existed as a feudal theocracy, with a large class of serfs (consisting largely of non-noble Buddhist laymen) working on estates owned by monastic leaders and members of the secular aristocracy.

Political power was sometimes used by monastic leaders to suppress rival religious schools through the confiscation of property and direct violence. Social mobility was somewhat possible through the attainment of a monastic education, or recognition as a reincarnated teacher, but such institutions were dominated by the traditional elites and governed by political intrigue. Non-Buddhists in Tibet were members of an outcast underclass.

The Bogd Khaanate period of Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 (1911-1919) is also cited as a former budhist theocracy.

Fictional theocracies


Depictions of a fictional society dominated by a theocracy recur in science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

, speculative fiction
Speculative fiction
Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as...

 and fantasy
Fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

. Such depictions are mostly dystopian, and in some cases humorous or satirical.
  • The Earthquake in Chile
    The Earthquake in Chile
    The Earthquake in Chile , is a novella written by Heinrich von Kleist . The novella's central characters are two lovers, caught up in the chaos of the 1647 Santiago earthquake in Chile.-Synopsis:...

    , By Heinrich von Kleist
    Heinrich von Kleist
    Bernd Heinrich Wilhelm von Kleist was a poet, dramatist, novelist and short story writer. The Kleist Prize, a prestigious prize for German literature, is named after him.- Life :...

     (1807)
  • Voyagers VI The Return, By Ben Bova
  • If This Goes On—/Revolt in 2100
    Revolt in 2100
    Revolt in 2100 is a 1953 collection by Robert A. Heinlein and is part of his Future History series.The contents are as follows:* Foreword by Henry Kuttner, "The Innocent Eye"...

     by Robert Heinlein (1940, revised and expanded 1953)
  • Gather, Darkness by Fritz Leiber
    Fritz Leiber
    Fritz Reuter Leiber, Jr. was an American writer of fantasy, horror and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theatre and films, playwright, expert chess player and a champion fencer. Possibly his greatest chess accomplishment was winning clear first in the 1958 Santa Monica Open.. With...

     (1943)
  • The Lovers by Philip Jose Farmer
    Philip José Farmer
    Philip José Farmer was an American author, principally known for his award-winning science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories....

     (1952 novella, expanded to full length 1961, revised 1977) http://www.amazon.com/review/RJQPCXXO0IGKJ
  • A Woman a Day (also "Moth and Rust" and "The Day of Timestop") by Philip Jose Farmer
    Philip José Farmer
    Philip José Farmer was an American author, principally known for his award-winning science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories....

     (1953 novella, expanded to full length 1960, same universe as "The Lovers")
  • Messiah by Gore Vidal
    Gore Vidal
    Gore Vidal is an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar , outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality...

     (1954) ISBN 0-14-118039-0
  • Lord of Light
    Lord of Light
    Lord of Light is an epic science fiction/fantasy novel by American author Roger Zelazny. It was awarded the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and nominated for a Nebula Award in the same category. Two chapters from the novel were published as novelettes in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science...

     by Roger Zelazny
    Roger Zelazny
    Roger Joseph Zelazny was an American writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for his The Chronicles of Amber series...

     (1967)
  • The Last Starship from Earth
    The Last Starship from Earth
    The Last Starship from Earth is a 1968 science fiction novel by John Boyd, and is his best known novel.- Plot summary :It is set in a dystopian society in the very near future. Although it is not obvious at first, this is also an alternate history story.The central character is Haldane IV, a...

     by John Boyd
    John Boyd (author)
    John Boyd is the primary pen-name of Boyd Bradfield Upchurch a science fiction author. His best known work is his first science fiction novel, The Last Starship from Earth, published in 1968. Boyd has written eleven science fiction novels, five novels and one biography...

     (1968)
  • The Goblin Tower
    The Goblin Tower
    The Goblin Tower is a fantasy novel by American writer L. Sprague de Camp, the first book of both his Novarian series and the "Reluctant King" trilogy featuring King Jorian of Xylar. It was first published as a paperback by Pyramid Books in 1968 and later reprinted by Del Rey Books. The first...

     by L. Sprague de Camp
    L. Sprague de Camp
    Lyon Sprague de Camp was an American author of science fiction and fantasy books, non-fiction and biography. In a writing career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and notable works of non-fiction, including biographies of other important fantasy authors...

     (1968) (episode set in the theocratic city-state of Tarxia)
  • The Stork Factor by Zach Hughes
    Zach Hughes
    Zach Hughes is a pseudonym for American writer Hugh Zachary, who has written numerous science fiction novels. These novels appear to be set in a shared universe, one where Earth experiences a nuclear apocalypse shortly after launching a colonization fleet to settle new worlds among the...

     (1975)
  • Run, Come See Jerusalem! by Richard C. Meredith
    Richard C. Meredith
    Richard Carlton Meredith , also known as Richard C. Meredith, was a science fiction author.-Biography:...

     (1976)
  • The Handmaid's Tale
    The Handmaid's Tale
    The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985...

     by Margaret Atwood
    Margaret Atwood
    Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...

     (1985). See Republic of Gilead.
  • Candle
    Candle (novel)
    Candle is a science fiction novel by John Barnes that was published in 2000, it is part of the author's Century Next Door series.-Plot summary:...

     by John Barnes
    John Barnes (author)
    -Writing:Two of his novels, The Sky So Big and Black and The Duke of Uranium have been reviewed as having content appropriate for a young adult readership, comparing favorably to Robert A. Heinlein's "juvenile" novels...

     (2000) . New York: Tor. ISBN 0-8125-8968-8.
  • The Sky So Big and Black
    The Sky So Big and Black
    The Sky So Big and Black is a science fiction novel by John Barnes that was published in 2002. The title itself refers to the clear sky as seen from the surface of Mars, to the nearness of the Martian horizon because Mars is a much smaller planet, and to the abrupt absence/darkness of many...

     by John Barnes
    John Barnes (author)
    -Writing:Two of his novels, The Sky So Big and Black and The Duke of Uranium have been reviewed as having content appropriate for a young adult readership, comparing favorably to Robert A. Heinlein's "juvenile" novels...

     (2003) . New York: Tor. ISBN 0-7653-4222-7
  • The Accidental Time Machine
    The Accidental Time Machine
    The Accidental Time Machine is a science-fiction novel by Joe Haldeman that was published in 2007. The novel was a finalist for the Nebula Award in 2007, and the Locus Award in 2008.-Plot summary:...

     by Joe Haldeman
    Joe Haldeman
    Joe William Haldeman is an American science fiction author.-Life :Haldeman was born June 9, 1943 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His family traveled and he lived in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Bethesda, Maryland and Anchorage, Alaska as a child. Haldeman married Mary Gay Potter, known...

     (2007)
  • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
    Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
    Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, known in Japan as , is a tactical role-playing game for the Game Boy Advance published by Nintendo. It is the eighth game in the Fire Emblem series, the third and final game in the series to be released for the Game Boy Advance and the second game in the series to be...

    , Pontifex Mansel leads the Theocracy of Rausten.
  • The alien alliance known as "the Covenant" in the Halo
    Halo (series)
    Halo is a multi-million dollar science fiction video game franchise created by Bungie and now managed by 343 Industries and owned by Microsoft Studios. The series centers on an interstellar war between humanity and a theocratic alliance of aliens known as the Covenant...

     series.
  • Atlantis
    Atlantis
    Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

     in Age of Mythology
    Age of Mythology
    Age of Mythology , is a mythology-based, real-time strategy computer game developed by Ensemble Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios...

     is supposed to be governed by a theocrat. The politics are not explored however, and it is not stated how the theocrat kept himself in power when the gods abandoned the civilisation in the expansion pack's campaign.
  • The Amarr Empire in EVE Online
    EVE Online
    Eve Online is a video game by CCP Games. It is a player-driven, persistent-world MMORPG set in a science fiction space setting. Characters pilot customizable ships through a galaxy of over 7,500 star systems. Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of stargates...

  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
    Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
    Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, known in Japan as is a tactical role-playing video game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo GameCube video game console. The game was released on April 20, 2005 in Japan, October 17, 2005 in North America, November 4, 2005 in...

    , Begnion is a theocracy worshipping the goddess Ashera. It is ruled by Apostle Sanaki.


Christian:
  • Christian Reconstructionism
    Christian Reconstructionism
    Christian Reconstructionism is a religious and theological movement within Evangelical Christianity that calls for Christians to put their faith into action in all areas of life, within the private sphere of life and the public and political sphere as well...

  • Divine Right of Kings
    Divine Right of Kings
    The divine right of kings or divine-right theory of kingship is a political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God...

  • Dominionism
    Dominionism
    Dominionism is a term used to describe politically active conservative Christians that are believed to conspire and seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States, with the goal of either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation...

  • Falange
    Falange
    The Spanish Phalanx of the Assemblies of the National Syndicalist Offensive , known simply as the Falange, is the name assigned to several political movements and parties dating from the 1930s, most particularly the original fascist movement in Spain. The word means phalanx formation in Spanish....

  • National Catholicism
    National Catholicism
    National Catholicism was part of the ideological identity of Francoism, the dictatorial regime with which Francisco Franco governed Spain between 1936 and 1975...

  • Rexism
    Rexism
    Rexism was a fascist political movement in the first half of the 20th century in Belgium.It was the ideology of the Rexist Party , officially called Rex, founded in 1930 by Léon Degrelle, a Walloon...

  • Theonomy
    Theonomy
    Theonomy is a theory in Christian theology that God is the sole source of human ethics. The word theonomy derives from the Greek words “theos” God, and “nomos” law. Cornelius Van Til argued that there "is no alternative but that of theonomy or autonomy"...

  • Ustaše
    Ustaše
    The Ustaša - Croatian Revolutionary Movement was a Croatian fascist anti-Yugoslav separatist movement. The ideology of the movement was a blend of fascism, Nazism, and Croatian nationalism. The Ustaše supported the creation of a Greater Croatia that would span to the River Drina and to the border...



Islamic:
  • Iranian Revolution
    Iranian Revolution
    The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

  • Islamic banking
    Islamic banking
    Islamic banking is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money...

  • Islamic republic
    Islamic republic
    Islamic republic is the name given to several states in the Muslim world including the Islamic Republics of Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Mauritania. Pakistan adopted the title under the constitution of 1956. Mauritania adopted it on 28 November 1958. Iran adopted it after the 1979 Iranian...

  • Islamic state
    Islamic State
    An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

  • Islamism
    Islamism
    Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

  • Political aspects of Islam
    Political aspects of Islam
    Political aspects of Islam are derived from the Qur'an, the Sunna , Muslim history, and elements of political movements outside Islam....

  • Religious police
  • Qutbism
    Qutbism
    Qutbism is a strain of Sunni Islamist ideology and activism, based on the thought and writings of Sayyid Qutb, an Islamist and former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was executed in 1966. It has been described as advancing the ideology of jihadism, i.e...

  • Taliban
  • Wahhabi


Other:
  • Khalistan
    Khalistan
    Khalistan refers to a global political secessionist movement to create a separate Sikh state, called Khālistān , carved out of parts mostly consisting of the Punjab region of India, depending on definition....

  • Unification Church and political involvement
    Unification Church and political involvement
    Politics are an integral part of the Unification Church's concerns and activities, although the church itself largely remains aloof from politics. The degree of involvement of the movement, as well as some of its specific stances, have also been part of the reason for the movement's controversial...


Further reading

  • Hirschl, Ran. Constitutional Theocracy. Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press
    Harvard University Press is a publishing house established on January 13, 1913, as a division of Harvard University, and focused on academic publishing. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. It is a member of the Association of American University Presses. Its current director is William P...

    , 2010. ISBN 0-674-04819-9, 978-0-674-04819-5.

External links