Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

Living Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Offending and Religion

  • Belinda Winder
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27771-9_200161-1

The term “offending” is used here to describe the commission of an illegal act. While most religions will also have religious laws or morals associated with them, this text considers acts that are against statutory laws. This entry considers a number of ways in which offending and religion may be connected.

Offending Against a Religion

First, there are laws (typically historical or at least not now actively prosecuted against by most countries) relating to blasphemy, that is insulting or showing irreverence toward another’s religion or deity(ies). Blasphemy laws were upheld by many countries in the world to protect the prevailing religious ideology against irreverent speech, behavior, or outputs (such as writing or artwork). However, the issue in modern times is that such laws typically work against freedom of speech and religious beliefs. Blasphemy laws have survived in the form of protection against hate speech. Psychological research examining predictors for seeing something as...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit, Department of PsychologyNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK