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Church-State Relations in Europe: From Legal Models to an Interdisciplinary Approach

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This article contends that scholarship itself has become a barrier to the understanding of church and state relations in Europe. It argues that legal analysis to date has taken an overly narrow approach, focussing purely on the means by which religion is recognised and ignoring the end. The first part of the article elucidates and critiques the three models conventionally elucidated by lawyers (the state church systems, separation (secular) systems and hybrid or cooperationist systems), concluding that an alternative approach is required. The second part outlines an alternative interdisciplinary approach, suggesting the benefits of fusing insights from both law and sociology.


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