Definition of doctrine
< Middle English < Old French < Latin doctrina ("teaching, instruction, learning, knowledge") < doctor ("a teacher") < docere ("to teach"); see doctor.
doctrine (plural doctrines)
- A belief or tenet, especially about philosophical or theological matters.
- The body of teachings of a religion, or a religious leader, organization, group or text.
The incarnation is a basic doctrine of classical Christianity.
The four noble truths summarise the main doctrines of Buddhism.
- Alphagram: cdeinort
Doctrine (Latin: doctrina) is a codification of beliefs or "a body of teachings" or "instructions", taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system. The Greek analogy is the etymology of catechism.
Often doctrine specifically connotes a corpus of religious dogma as it is promulgated by a church, but not necessarily: doctrine is also used to refer to a principle of law, in the common law traditions, established through a history of past decisions, such as the doctrine of self-defense, or the principle of fair use, or the more narrowly applicable first-sale doctrine. In some organizations, doctrine is simply defined as 'that which is taught', in other words the basis for institutional teaching of its personnel internal ways of doing business.
A legal doctrine is a body of inter-related rules (usually of common law and built over a long period of time) associated with a legal concept or principle. For example the doctrine of frustration of purpose now has many tests and rules applicable with regards to each other and can be contained within a 'bubble' of Frustration. In a court session a defendant may refer to the doctrine of justification.
It can be seen that a branch of law contains various doctrine, which in turn contains various rules or tests. The test of Non-occurrence of crucial event is part of the doctrine of Frustration which is part of Contract Law. Doctrines can grow into a branch of law; restitution is now considered a branch of law separate to Contract and Tort.
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