Religion Past and Present

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(427 words)

[German Version]

Legitimacy relates to the justification of norms, institutions, legal entitlements, and claims to authority, together with their basis in moral and legal philosophy. With specific reference to the acceptance of authority (Dominion/Rule), M. Weber distinguished sociologically between traditional, charismatic, and rational or legal legitimacy.

The discussion of the Sophists as to whether right is based solely on convention (thései) or is established by nature (phýsei) already distinguished between the positivistic reduction of legitimacy to lega…

Cite this page
Anzenbacher, Arno, “Legitimacy”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 September 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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