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Encyclopedia > Legalism

Legalism has several meanings.

  • Legalism in Christian theology is a pejorative term referring to the imposition of excessive conformity to religious rules of behavior.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Legalism according to Schwartz (667 words)
He traced the beginning of Legalism to the time of Confucius and such Confucian contemporaries as Tze-chan (Zi-chan), a ruler of a small state called Cheng and an acquaintance/possible student of Confucius.
The rise of Legalism was also related to the rise of new rulers who had overthrown legitimate old rulers and who now need new laws, not tradition, to justify and buttress their rule.
Schwartz's explanation of the Confucian rebuttal of Legalism is very similar to the 19th century English Utilitarians' criticism of existent social mores and traditions: that laws only teach people cunning by inspiring fear.
Legalism (568 words)
Legalism is a political philosophy that does not address higher questions pertaining to the nature and purpose of existence.
Shang Yang was particularly important for the development of legalism since it was he who served as governor of the state of Ch'in and strengthened it to the extent that it was able to unify China in the following century.
The viciousness of the Ch'in dynasty served to discredit Legalism.
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