Civil Religion, Human Rights and International Relations
Show Less

Civil Religion, Human Rights and International Relations

Connecting People Across Cultures and Traditions

Edited by Helle Porsdam

This ground breaking book discusses whether human rights can be forged into a common set of transcendent principles against which actions of every nation can be judged and whether such a common understanding, or civil religion, could one day become a vehicle for global peace.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 10: Hard Secularism as Intolerant Civil Religion: Denmark and the Cartoon Case

Tøger Seidenfaden


Tøger Seidenfaden On a secularized continent, Denmark stands out as perhaps the most secularized country of them all. About half the population claims to believe in nothing at all, and many of the Danes making up the other half have religious beliefs which in other communities would hardly qualify as such (‘there is perhaps something rather than nothing between heaven and earth’), and which are certainly far from theologically correct within established religions. On the surface, things look different since more than 80 per cent of the population is still baptized into a state-supported religion, the Lutheran People’s Church. Its priests are civil servants and the highest power in Church affairs is the Minister for the Church, an ordinary politician who is a member of the cabinet. But surveys of public opinion and statistics about church attendance reveal that only a small minority of Danish Lutherans are actively religious. One might perhaps expect that a thoroughly secularized society, in which secularization is not the result of a political struggle – as in France or Turkey – but a result of a gradual process of modernization with no formal political consequences, would lead to a highly tolerant society, with reasonable space for those minorities – Lutheran, Muslim or Catholic – with a more active relationship to their faiths and churches. Taking the national and international crisis known as the ‘cartoon affair’ as my case, I will suggest that this is far from being the case. Sources of intolerance for religious minorities do not come...

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.

Further information

or login to access all content.