Elgar Monographs in Constitutional and Administrative Law series
Chapter 4: Religion in constitutions
It is remarkable that protective mention of religion is made in one or another form in the overwhelming majority of contemporary constitutions – be they constitutions of constitutional states or of states with dubious credentials in terms of their standards of constitutionalism. At the end of an authoritative review of eight models of the relations of states to religion, the models being the atheist state, assertive secularism, separation as state neutrality towards religion, weak religious establishment, formal separation with the de facto pre-eminence of one denomination, separation alongside multicultural accommodation, religious jurisdictional enclaves and strong establishment, Ran Hirschl concludes as follows: Unlike the conventional image of a ‘clash of civilizations' or the ‘west' and the ‘rest', there is actually a strong echo of religion in each and all of these models. In fact, all constitutions, every single one of them – from France to Iran and anywhere in between – address the issue of religion head on. Some constitutions despise it, others embrace or even defer to it, and yet others are agnostic but are willing to accommodate certain aspects of it. But not a single constitution abstains, overlooks or remains otherwise silent with respect to religion. With the exception of the concrete organizing principles and prerogatives of the polity's governing institutions, the only substantive domain addressed by all modern constitutions is religion.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.