What are sources of authority?

Sources of authority available to most believers when they might need guidance and help

When it comes to finding out about or understanding something, or making decisions about what to do, most people have various sources of authority they can go to for guidance and help. These might include:

Religious people also have other sources of guidance and help available to them. These might include:

  • sacred texts
  • founders of the faith
  • religious principles or rules
  • faith community leaders
  • religious tradition
  • other people in the faith community

Insight and inspiration can sometimes come from the beliefs, teachings and practices of other religions and from non-religious sources.

A decision is generally better made if the individual has considered a variety of sources of guidance and help rather than just one, or if they always consult the same one. This helps an individual to gain the most complete picture of the situation they face and the options available, and so helps them make a better decision.