Dogma is a doctrine laid down with authority, particularly a statement of systematic theology. Whilst intending to express a settled and agreed opinion, principle or tenet, which needs no discussion, positive assertions can be made about things which are not true dogma. Such dogmatic statements can be overbearing, and even abusive when there is no opportunity allowed for challenge or discussion.
Dogmas, though they may resemble reality in varying degrees of authenticity, in and of themselves have no intrinsic value yet, are imbued with dynamic power and functional importance to the degree of the investiture of faith and trust that an individual or community places in them. These dogmas then, in turn, give shape to reality and alters the world of the individual or community in such a way so as to conform to the dogmas into which the individual or community have invested. If the support of faith and trust that animates and enlivens the dogma is withdrawn, the dogma collapses almost effortlessly though not without dramatic effect.
1. Dogma is a symbolic statement; rooted in mystical theology: an attempt to present in verbal form an essentially unutterable and ungraspable reality; created to help others to encounter that reality.