Divine law comprises any body of law that is perceived as deriving from a transcendent source, such as the will of God or gods - in contrast to man-made law or to secular law. Divine laws are typically perceived[by whom?] as superior to man-made laws, sometimes due to an assumption that their source has resources beyond human knowledge and human reason. Believers in divine laws might accord them greater authority than other laws, for example by assuming that divine law cannot be changed by human authorities.
Divine laws are noted[by whom?] for their apparent inflexibility. Divine laws are often perceived[by whom?] as beyond the authority of humans to change. The introduction of interpretation into divine law is a controversial issue, since believers place high significance on adhering to the law precisely. Opponents to the application of divine law typically deny that it is purely divine and point out human influences in the law. This element of human influence is understood[by whom?] as incorporating some degree of fallibility. These opponents characterize such laws as belonging to a particular cultural tradition. Adherents of divine law, on the other hand, are sometimes reluctant to adapt inflexible divine laws to cultural contexts.
Divine laws are assumed[by whom?] to be transmitted through several mediums, most frequently through time-out-of-mind tradition or through religious texts. Medieval Christianity assumed the existence of three kinds of laws: divine law, natural law, and man-made law. Others,[who?] on the other hand, assume that natural law is a subset of divine law delivered through general revelation from a creator deity. Theologians have substantially debated the scope of natural law, with the Enlightenment encouraging greater use of reason and expanding the scope of natural law and marginalizing divine law in a process of secularization.[additional citation(s) needed] Some people[which?] may understand themselves as receiving guidance through prayer or conscience, although the moral authority of these methods of transmission ranks much lower than that of written divine law.
In Thomas Aquinas's Treatise on Law, divine law comes only from revelation or scripture, hence biblical law, and is necessary for human salvation. According to Aquinas, divine law must not be confused with natural law. Divine law is mainly and mostly natural law, but it can also be positive law.
- Chaniotis 1996, p. 85. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFChaniotis1996 (help)
- Peters 1988, p. 244.
- Chaniotis 1996, p. 86. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFChaniotis1996 (help)
- Anghie 1996, p. 323.
- Molano 2009, p. 212.
- Chaniotis 1996, p. 67. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFChaniotis1996 (help)
- Chaniotis 1996, p. 75. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFChaniotis1996 (help)
- Peters 1988, p. 244f.
- Anghie 1996, p. 323f.
- Weiss 2010, Part II. The Indicators of God's Law.
Chaniotis, Angelos (1996). ""Conflicting authorities: Greek Asylia between Secular and Divine Law in the Classical and Hellenistic Poleis" (PDF). Kernos. 9: 65-66. Retrieved 2020-04-04.
In Euripides' Ion [...] [t]he distinction between the secular nomos which condemns the assailant and the divine themis which protects the suppliant, regardless of the crime he has committed, is clear; equally clear is Ion's condamnation [sic] of this indifference of the divine law towards the suppliants, righteous and unrighteous alike.
- Chaniotis 1996, p. 69. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFChaniotis1996 (help)
- Anghie, Antony (1996). "Francisco de Vitoria and the colonial origins of international law". Social & Legal Studies. SAGE. 5 (3): 321–336. doi:10.1177/096466399600500303. ISSN 0964-6639.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Peters, Rudolph (1988). "Divine Law or Man-Made Law-Egypt and the Application of the Shari'a". Arab Law Quarterly. 3 (3): 231–253. doi:10.1163/157302588X00281.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Chaniotis, Angelos (1996). "Conflicting authorities: Greek asylia between secular and divine law in the Classical and Hellenistic poleis" (PDF). Kernos. 9: 65-86.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Molano, E. (2009). "Divine Law and Constitutional Canonical Law". Ius Canonicum. 49: 195-212.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Weiss, Bernard (2010). The search for God's law : Islamic jurisprudence in the writings of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidi. Salt Lake City Herndon, Va: University Of Utah Press International Institute of Islamic Thought. ISBN 978-0-87480-938-1. OCLC 758391490.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Canosa, J. (2009). The Efficacy of the Divine Law in the Administrative Justice in the Church. Ius Canonicum, 49, 549. https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/iuscan49&i=555
- Martinez, F. (2005). "La Superioridad Del Derecho Divino En El Pensamiento Pregracianeo: Una Vision De Las Colecciones Canonicas Medievales" [The Superiority of the Divine Law in Pre-Gratian Thought: A Perspective of the Medieval Canonical Collection]. Ius Canonicum (in Spanish). 45: 183ff.
- McCall, B. M. (2011). Consulting the Architect When Problems Arise-The Divine Law. Geo. JL & Pub. Pol'y, 9, 103.
- Rubin, A. P. (1992). International Law in the age of Columbus. Netherlands International Law Review, 39(1), 5-35.
- Rumble, W. E. (1979). Divine Law, Utilitarian Ethics, and Positivist Jurisprudence: A Study of the Legal Philosophy of John Austin. Am. J. Juris., 24, 139.
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