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Torture
(934 words)

It is difficult to give a single definition of torture, since people are so different as regards threshold of pain, psychological makeup, and social and cultural conditioning. Nevertheless, certain essential features of torture are part of any definition: (1) it always involves at least two persons, one of whom is in the physical power of the other; (2) it involves acute pain or anguish, physical, mental, or spiritual; (3) its aim is to subdue and break the victim; (4) it is a systematic action with a rational purpose; and (5) it is done by, or at the command of, an official of the state.

1. Afte…

Cite this page
Frenz, Helmut, “Torture”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 05 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_T.64>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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