Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Anthropological evidence shows that every community develops law of some kind to ensure the well-being and continuance of the group and often to balance the actions and aspirations of the individual with the common good as a whole. What is known as canon law , a set of regulations adhered to in different Christian communities, has evolved from the attempts of the earliest Christian communities to do this. The word canon comes from the Greek word kanon , meaning “rule, standard, or measure,” and law may be understood as divine or human, discovered through revelation, the use of reason, or both. What makes this aspect of law and governance interesting from a theoretical point of view is the fact that it is voluntary: that individuals and communities make a choice to bind themselves to it. The Greco-Roman domus was used as a model for the organization of early Christian In ...