Legalism Law and Legal Definition

Legalism refers to the strict adherence to the word of the law, usually combined with a policy to regulate as much as possible. This policy of law enforcement purports to regulate as much as possible and insists upon the adherence of the letter of the law regardless of the circumstances. Legalism is said to have originated in China in about 400 BC as a check to Confucianism. In theology, it refers to a doctrine that salvation is gained through good works.