Polydoxy is a religious ideology that affirms the ultimate right of an individual to religious self-authority or autonomy. A religious community that adheres to a polydoxy affirms the ultimate right to religious autonomy of each of its members.
Possessed of an ultimate right to autonomy, the individual is free to choose her or his personal religious beliefs and practices, subject only to the limitation that every polydoxian’s freedom ends where the other person’s freedom begins.
Dr. Alvin Reines coined the term “polydoxy” in 1965 to define this new form of religion. The name, “Polydoxian”, applies to all persons who identify with this new form of religion.
“(While in graduate school,) I became convinced that a fundamentally new form of religion was in the process of evolving out of the authoritarian orthodox and fundamentalist religions traditional in the Western world…
…major indications that a new religious form is emerging: One is the great number of persons who have disaffiliated themselves from their native orthodox and fundamentalist religions in favor of pursuing independent religious choices.
…another is the many persons who, despite affiliation with orthodox and fundamentalist religions, reject their authority, and make personal decisions in religious matters.
…Even the “Liberal” religions…fail to present…a fundamental principle or coherent foundation doctrine…they exhibit a mélange of bits from the past, pieces from the present, and potentialities for the future. They have not yet reached the new religious form toward which they are tending.
I have given the name “polydoxy” to define this new form of religion.”