Surprising Parallels Between Western Legal Systems and Religious Dogma

The Justice Lark
8 min readJan 3, 2024
Photo by Pedro Lima on Unsplash

Western legal systems are are often perceived as bastions of logic, divorced from the subjective realms of belief and faith that characterise religion.

However, a closer examination reveals a startling parallel: these purportedly secular institutions are, in many respects, often strikingly similar to the religious structures they claim to supersede.

From the sanctity of their foundational texts and reverence for their rituals, to the unquestioned authority vested in their interpreters, Western legal systems in fact, echo many aspects of religious institutions.

The reluctance to recognise these parallels, or the insistence on the purely rational nature of law, in fact obscures a critical aspect of how legal systems function and exert their influence.

Religious vs Legal Dogma

At their core, both religious and legal structures are built on a foundation of dogma — a set of authoritative principles considered to be absolutely true by their followers.

Religious dogma constitutes the core beliefs of faith systems, providing a moral compass to its adherents. These beliefs, derived from texts deemed sacred, are often regarded as absolute and immutable truths.



The Justice Lark

Passionate writer and researcher focused on promoting justice and equity, with emphasis on issues related to gender-based violence, trauma & mental health.