What are religious norms?

We explain what religious norms are, who they affect, their characteristics and examples. In addition, other types of standards.

  1. What are religious norms?

A norm is a guideline or prohibition that serves to regulate human behavior or behavior in a specific area of ​​life. And we also know that there are many types of rules, depending on the authority that issues them and the order of things they aspire to control.

Thus, religious norms are those emanating from some religious authority , such as a church, priestly bureaucracy or spiritual leader. Consequently, they are accepted and practiced by their parishioners, in order to respect some kind of mystical or spiritual principles, which constitute the doctrine of their faith.

Said in simpler terms, religious norms are those to which a community or individual adheres to respect the vital guidelines that their God, or their set of beliefs, determines to be correct or moral . Therefore, they only concern those who practice that specific faith or follow that specific cult.

They generally do not have legal significance, nor are they capable of inflicting on those who disrespect them greater punishment than the rejection of the religious community. However, in some countries of theocratic government, religious norms may coincide with the legal norms that govern political, economic and social life.

  1. Characteristics of religious norms

Generally, religious norms have to do with intimate life, the relationship with others and the ways of organizing the prayer , as well as general attitudes about life and existence.

They can be very different from each other, depending on the religion to which they belong, and in general they serve to reinforce the philosophy or worldview that it, deep down, proposes. Depending on the strictness of religion, therefore, the rules may be more prohibitive or more lax, more concrete or more general.

In general, religious norms are:

  • Unrecognizable , that is, no one can force us to follow them, but we must submit to them voluntarily.
  • Internal , it is generally ourselves who know if we have fulfilled them or not in our daily lives.
  • Unilateral , since they come from a moral and cultural tradition , and are not the result of social consensus.
  1. Examples of religious norms

religious branches islam ramadan
Religious norms can govern everyday life, food and clothing.

Some examples of religious norms are the following:

  • Practitioners of the Jewish and Islamic religions are prohibited from eating pork . In the case of the latter, also the intake of alcohol.
  • According to the Bible and therefore to the Christian and Jewish creed, the moral conduct of the faithful must be governed by the 10 commandments proposed by the prophet Moses.
  • The women of the Jewish and Islamic cults should cover their hair and other parts of the body that are considered modest.
  • In Jewish tradition, circumcision is performed on male children on the eighth day after birth, while in the Christian they must be baptized in a church.
  • Traditional Chinese religion demands from its faithful respect for ancestors and their veneration at a family home altar.
  1. Other types of standards

The norms or normative orders can be of many types, according to the authority that issues them or to the vital space that they try to regulate or control. Thus, it is also possible to talk about:

  • Legal norms .  They are created by judicial institutions. They regulate the life of the individuals of a nation, according to a set of laws that the State reinforces through the monopoly of violence.
  • Moral standards .  They govern the behavior of individuals according to what each society understands as “good”, “bad” or “adequate”, based on their particular tradition.
  • Social norms .  They facilitate the coexistence of the individuals of a community, based on mutual agreement and consensus.

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