The hallmarks of a religious state – remarks on the basis of the achievements of contemporary constitutionalism Cover Image

Znamiona państwa wyznaniowego – uwagi na kanwie dorobku współczesnego konstytucjonalizmu
The hallmarks of a religious state – remarks on the basis of the achievements of contemporary constitutionalism

Author(s): Paweł Borecki
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, History of Law, Constitutional Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Theology and Religion, Islam studies, Religion and science , Sociology of Religion, History of Religion
Published by: Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II - Wydział Prawa, Prawa Kanonicznego i Administracji
Keywords: religious state; state–church relations; contemporary constitutions; freedom of religion; Islam; freedom of conscience and religion

Summary/Abstract: The analysis of contemporary constitutions indicates that the number of religious states is slowly decreasing. However, we are confronted with the opposite tendencies. The model of the religious state is characteristic primarily of Muslim countries of the Near and Middle East and of a number of Southeast Asian countries. In the last decades, the number of Christian states and secular ideological states has declined significantly. There is a stable group of states with Buddhism as a privileged religion. The religious constitutional norms of confessional states are generally characterized by a high degree of generality. Detailed provisions are rare. Denominational clauses are included primarily among the supreme principles of the constitution. Underlying the religious character of the state is the rejection of the neutrality of the worldview. It is not possible, on the basis of the constitution alone, to reconstruct a detailed, universal model of the religious state. In the light of fundamental laws, the most common characteristics of religious states are: the negation of the neutrality of the state in worldviews, the acceptance of a particular religion as the official religion, the rejection of the equality of religious associations, the requirement of a state religion or belief towards the head of the state, the state support for a given confession. The constitutions of the majority of religious states formally provide for religious freedom. In the fundamental laws of some Muslim states, the formal guarantees for this freedom are, however, absent. The organizational unity of the state and religious apparatus is not characteristic of the sphere of Western political culture. The socio-political reality of contemporary religious states indicates that this model of statehood can not be a priori regarded as contrary to the principles of democracy and human rights.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 20
  • Page Range: 223-248
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Polish