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Self-righteousness

SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. Not a Biblical term as such, but a concept derived primarily from a negative picture of the Pharisees found in the gospels (cf. the Fr. pharisaïsme, which is the equivalent of the Eng. self-righteousness and the Ger. Selbstgerechtigkeit). It refers to an attitude whereby a religious person considers himself either morally upright or in right standing with God because of his adherence to the letter of legal requirements without regard to their spirit.