Teokracje amerykańskie. Źródła i mechanizmy władzy usankcjonowanej religijnie
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The book is a political science study of theocracy – defined as a type of power legitimized by religion – which uses some North American political systems as its empirical basis. In the first, theoretical part, an original conception of theocracy as a distinctive type of a political system is developed; it is complemented with the analysis of the techniques of sacralisation of power and the origins of theocratic power, derived from the theory of social exchange. The second, empirical part of the book focuses on certain dimensions of political systems of selected North American religious groups (Puritans, Shakers, Mormons), such as their political regimes, succession procedures or mechanism of political control. The main purpose of the book is to demonstrate that theocracy may, in certain conditions, become an optimum solution ensuring stability of a political system. The research questions concern, among other things, mechanisms of religious legitimation of power, conditions of stability of theocracies, the role of coercion in theocratic power relations. The study adopts a political science (rather than religious studies) approach: religious beliefs are treated as components of legitimation formulas, generating justifications for the existing power relations, and, from the individual perspective – as motivators for social and political action.
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