Religion Past and Present

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(335 words)

[German Version]

(“self-rule,” from the Greek αὐτοκράτεια) indicates: (a) politically: the sole rule of a (group of) person(s) who possess unlimited power which the people neither share nor control. According to I. Kant, the sovereign in the autocratic state has not merely the supreme but the sole power, which even legitimates him to change the constitution. Autocracy is, thus, not necessarily identical with a dictatorship or tyranny. – In the Christian sense, autocracy pertains to no human ruler whatsoever – for their power i…

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Dietz, Walter R., “Autocracy”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 13 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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