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Religious States, State Religions & State Churches

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims at providing a comprehensive comparative legal analysis of the different ways in which states relate to religion. In order to do justice to important nuances, a comprehensive spectrum of state-religion relationships should focus on the different discernible forms of state identification with religion, as well as the different secular forms of identification. As a first step in drawing up such a spectrum of state-religion identification, the chapter enquires into the unequivocal forms of 'positive identification' of the state with religion: the focus will be on so-called 'religious states', 'state religions' and 'state churches'. These terms are, strictly speaking, not interchangeable. Focusing on the exact degree of interrelation between the state and religion, a comprehensive overview of the main legal ramifications that delineate the different religious states and other regimes of 'positive state-religion identification' will be provided in a separate section.

Keywords: religious states; state churches; state religions



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