Relationship between religion and state in global societies

relationship between religion and state in global societies

at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars on the negotiations relationship between religion and state differs dramatically in established democ- both their own sizeable Muslim communities and the Middle Eastern states on. Religion among Global Communities of Purpose These communities in turn relate to states and to one another. As globalisation links humans in more complex ways, these communities of purpose create a new political. Key Words: Islam, Christianity, modernity, secularism, state, religion, model 1 The Relation of religion and secularism when they wish to study the Islamic world. A lot of Islamic doctrines focus on the relation between man and his society.

This is not restricted to a personally religious activity but is going to penetrate all dimensions of human life; it is going to requisite a need for social and political attendance of religions.

relationship between religion and state in global societies

If someone wants to be a true Muslim believer he can not ignore his social and political duties. To reduce Islam to spirituality that is more compatible with Christianity and Buddhism means to ignore the most part of Islamic teachings of Qur'an and Hadiths.

The Semitic conception, shared by Judaism and Islam, sees law as the embodiment of the Divine Will, as a transcendent reality which is eternal and immutable, as a model by which the perfections and shortcomings of human society and the conduct of the individual are judged, as the guide through which man gains salvation and, by rejecting it, courts damnation and destruction.

While in Western culture the best way of life 10 depend of welfare and humanistic freedom this is not so with Islamic system of value.

The importance of spiritual progress of man kind and defining him as who must think of himself as spiritual animal which will be possible in his worshipping God bring an Islamic worldview quite different from a Western concern. The emphasis of Islamic teachings to heavenly essence of man and the duty of prophets to purify him toward training that essence Tazkiah as well as its emphasis on mundane matters have brought different system of value from a Western one in which the definition of the best way of life is restricted to the best material life manifested in those material welfare and freedom.

For example, homosexuality rejected in all its kind in Islam because it makes man very far from its true life, while in a Western system of value it is in the direction of human enjoyment and a kind of his welfare and freedom. Homosexuality in an Islamic system of value is just like terrorism in a Western one.

Why Religion Influences Politics More Now Than 50 Years Ago - Monica Duffy Toft

The judgment about one action due to two systems of value is quite different because the different definition of man kind. The decision about a successful and fruitful political system hardly based on the system of values and the definition of man and his ideals in which we are going to judge about. Therefore, we may not judge about development absolutely in a Western manner of life; perhaps some of those developments are decline than improvement.

This is the sovereignty of mass media ruled by Western secular humanistic regimes that try to impose its system of value that is made for the benefits of Western companies. There are also some other reasons for the need of attendance of religions in the state. The role of the Shari'ah and its institutions as protection for the community against arbitrary military and political oppression needs to be emphasized8; Since most modern studies on the subject only view the external political institutions and not the personal relationships, family structure, Individual fights, etc.

It may be added that the blind following of Western ideas in matters concerned with law, as in so many other domains, will never solve any basic problem of Islamic society.

The specifications of successful models At the end I study the renewal in Islamic approach based on the above explanation which may open Islam to a special kind of development that can be more effective and conclusive.

In my view, there must be some independent models of relation between Islam and the state which must have some characteristics: Considered from this point of view, religion in Islam means first of all the Islamic revelation and all the truths, both exoteric and esoteric, revealed in the Holy Quran and interpreted by the Prophet in his sayings and traditions.

In the case of the Shi' ah the sayings of the Imams are included along with those of the Holy Prophet. Religion also means all the teachings and institutions of Divine origin revealed through other prophets before Islam, many of which Islam, through the universality and synthetic power integrated into its own perspective.

This rationality differs from that kind of humanistic rationality named instrumental rationality.

relationship between religion and state in global societies

In the tension between tradition and modernism, one of the most acute problems faced by the contemporary Muslim is the relationship between the Shari'ah, and especially the parts belonging to the domain of personal law, and modem theories and legal practices.

But they must be avoid of the hidden fundamental values of those treatments incompatible with their own and try to build their system on their own teachings and values. There must be long attempts for understanding the reality of 14 spatio-temporal situations and the needs of contemporary man and try rationally to find a favorite political system compatible with Quranic fundamental teachings, which is called in Islamic culture as Ijtehad However, being neither a jurisprudent or faqih in the traditional sense, nor an advocate in the modem one, but rather a student of Islam and Islamic civilization in its intellectual and spiritual aspects, we feel it our duty to confine ourselves to the analysis and clarification of the general principles which underlie the very issue implied by the subject of this essay.

A truly Islamic system is limited to some boundaries that can not accompany with every kind of innovations. And so we find such well-known moder- nists as al-Zahawi, Tahir al-haddad and many others pleading for the legal equality of women in the European sense within a secular law and apologists like Sayyid Amir 'Ali feeling ashamed of the Islamic conception of the status of women because it does not agree with the modern European view.

During 15 last century we saw some innovation among Muslim thinkers that accepted the dominant Western thought and tried to introduce an interpretation of Islamic thought in the frameworks of that dominant thought.

We remember the scientific interpretation of Islam in about five decades before and Marxistic interpretation of Islam in three decades before both of which can not remain alive in Muslim territories. It may be said in general that throughout the Islamic world, many ideas concerning government and administration have been spread which are not only of non-Islamic origin but which are, moreover, fruits of the various revolutions of the past two centuries in Europe.

Each of these has aimed at a greater degree of secularization of the society. Among these ideologies, not the least of them is Western-style nationalism, which in most areas of the Muslim world has become a powerful force in the secularizing of Islamic society.

Each Muslim land has a political form peculiar to itself It is the only way of real freedom. Some of these discourses are posed ideologically as a subjective model of political attitude The best way for improvement of these models is continual dialogues among who bear the reasonability of their thought. Every discussion of Islamic Law involves the most basic religious beliefs and attitudes of Muslims.

In differences there must be an equal dialogue for finding some practical solution for some interaction, just like those differences between all societies. The appeal to forcible power for establishing a kind of political system leads to annulment of the system.

State and Society beyond Modernity. Confronting the Environmental Crisis. Postmodernism, Reason and Religion. The Condition of Postmodernity: Islam and the West, New York: Human Rights and the New World Order. In one groundbreaking work, Mark Juergensmeyer argued that with the collapse of ideological polarisation during the Cold War, religious nationalism emerged to fill the gaps left by disillusionment with capitalism and communism.

relationship between religion and state in global societies

Not all viewed the expansion of religion in the post-Cold War world as a positive development. The late Christopher Hitchens, in particular, articulated the view that the role of religious movements was consistently negative. Religious organisations often present exclusive claims to truth. They often stand behind conflict, motivating the faithful to lay aside compromise and to give up even their own temporal existence in the pursuit of a more ultimate and transcendent goal.

It is true that religious resurgence has often emphasised the fundamental differences between religious groups. Often this occurs because of pent-up stresses related to the repression of religion in the past. For example, the modernist White Revolution instituted in Iran in the s and s led revolutionaries to enshrine Islamic guidance in the Iranian constitution of The Soviet-led government of Afghanistan had introduced numerous secular reforms in the s that became the primary targets of the Mujahedeen and later the Taliban regimes of the s.

In other cases, religious movements make instrumental use of religious difference as a means of political gain.

Religious Movements and Religion’s Contribution to Global Civil Society

Their supporters went on to target Muslims and their shrines in numerous incidents over the following decade. For every headline that describes the violent and reactionary actions of religious radicals, there are thousands of unreported activities that arise out of the pro-social intentions of religious devotees. Toft, Philpott, and Shah observe that religion has had an extremely important role in the expansion of democratisation over the past few decades: Campbell analyse the role that religion plays in modern American society.

They argue that even though religion divides Americans, the very connections that religion encourages among human beings also help to mitigate conflict among the American people. John Coleman, a Jesuit scholar, presents the case that religious organisations provide numerous social goods that encourage the formation of social capital: Therefore, these organs of global civil society are able to foster social capital transnationally in a manner that travels well.

Today, global civil society is enriched by the participation of religious actors.

relationship between religion and state in global societies

Many other religious organisations present the case for action on behalf of relief and development at the state level. Religious actors promote human rights and freedom of conscience: Concerned about the way in which religious polarisation has affected Western politics since the terror attacks of 11 Septembernumerous small initiatives have arisen in the past decade throughout North America and Europe that bring together people of many faiths to promote interfaith understanding.

Today, they are increasingly working on the global stage: As the politics of religion globalises, it puts more and more believers in dialogue with one another and it transforms and expands our knowledge of one another.

relationship between religion and state in global societies

The third model is less drastic: Government may neither advance nor obstruct religion. The fourth model combines separation with some kind of cooperation. In the last model that difference has disappeared, state and church actually converge in a theocracy. It stands out—according to Brugger, as well—that the first and the last model do not agree with democracy and the rule of law. The fifth model causes some concern, at least, because an established church may have all kinds of advantages in comparison with other denominations.

In the literature, a similar classification is often used, a spectrum running from theocracies, where Vatican City might be one of the few examples, to states that are more or less hostile to religion. Chris Soper and Stephen Monsma, for example, use only three models in their comparative law study of the situation in the United Sates, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom: More dimensions All these models have an ideal character.

Therefore, it is not a strong argument that the real situation in a country differs from a certain model. There is, however, a more fundamental objection. The models are set out along what we may call a one-dimensional line running from more to less separation between state and religion. A number of reasons make such a conception too simplistic, as examples will show. Apart from France, Turkey is or was considered a good example of a laic state, a state with a strict separation between state and religion.

In Turkey, the government strongly influences the appointment of imams. From this point of view, it would be odd if France and Turkey were to fall under the same model. The difference could be seen as greater than between England and certain states without an established church. The classification becomes even more problematic if we take into account the fact that state and religion meet in social and cultural domains.

This article distinguishes more dimensions in the relationship between state and religion to avoid that very suggestion. The result of a comparative law approach may be that arguments for separation or alliance will differ by dimension. To achieve a multifaceted impression, attention will be paid in particular to France, the United States, England, Germany, and the Netherlands. Religion in the state domain Two current questions have to be answered here.

The first one is: Should the government be allowed to use religious symbols and religious references? The second question is: Should civil servants be allowed to display their religious conviction at work? Before answering these questions we have to deal briefly with the legitimization of government authority and the justification of government policy. Constitutions of democratic states often legitimize government authority by referring to the sovereignty of the people Sweden, South Africa, Germany or to the sovereignty of the nation France, Belgium, Poland.

Such concepts may, in one way or another, be influenced by Christian culture; they are not in themselves of a religious nature. Every citizen should be able to accept government authority and every citizen should be able to agree with the general aims of the state.

The counterargument, that religious people cannot accept government authority if religion does not play a part in the official grounding thereof, does not hold true. This argument fails to appreciate that the individual is not completely tied to the state, and that the state has no authority in spiritual or religious matters whatsoever. From a religious point of view, linking the will of the supreme being with ever-failing government policies is not self-evident either.

Church dignitaries should not ex officio have any power of political decision making, 25 and government may not enforce religious rules or apply religious criteria. Even if the government takes into account the wishes of certain religious communities, the reason cannot be that the supreme being prescribes a certain measure.

The reason may only be that freedom of religion has a certain importance. Governments using religious discourse? The question of whether government may use religious discourse raises controversies in many countries. The case law of the Supreme Court of the U. The Supreme Court judged this tradition not to be contrary to the First Amendment. The Court banned the setting up of a nativity scene on public property, 27 and the Court banned, as well, a picture of the Ten Commandments from a court room.

Shortly after the French Revolution, crucifixes disappeared from the French courtrooms. The German Federal Constitutional Court Bundesverfassungsgericht judged the complaint, based on the right to freedom of religion, justified. Other traditional religious references do exist, however. Compulsory regulation and the supreme being are bound together in a manner that does not belong in a pluralistic society.

If this formula was absent, there would probably not be much enthusiasm for introducing it now. Civil servants and religious symbols In the old days, the relationship between government and religion gave members of nondominant denominations a smaller chance of obtaining a government job. The question whether a civil servant may show his religion is a different one.

In answering this question, we have to balance two interests: These interests turn out to be balanced very differently in different countries. Therefore, freedom of religion has no substantial weight for a civil servant at work.

Wearing religious symbols by civil servants is completely banned by law. The kind of work is not relevant; nor does it matter if a civil servant has contact with the public or not. Headscarves matching the style of the uniforms have been designed, as well. That police officers should be allowed to wear a headscarf is not completely uncontroversial, however. To a certain extent, the United States presents a similar picture. One of the arguments was the separation of church and state.

Congress reacted, however, by introducing a law establishing the right to wear such religious signs. A prison guard who was told by the prison board that he was not allowed to wear his kufi anymore brought his case successfully to court. In these cases, freedom of religion—even during working hours—outweighs neutrality arguments. The French general ban, therefore, is too harsh. On the other hand, the importance of outward neutrality is considerable as regards civil servants exercising authority.

In this respect, one may think, in the first place, of the judiciary, whose appearance of neutrality can even be justified by the fundamental right to a fair trial. In the second place, one may think of the police. Their uniforms are also meant to stress the impersonal and public character of their position. The constitutional principle of separation between state authority and religion takes precedence; otherwise, this same authority would be undermined in a partly multireligious and partly nonreligious society.

Moreover, in specific cases, religious symbols may cause opposition to or mistrust of government actions. The objection that, for example, a judge wearing a religious symbol may be doing his job excellently ignores the issue that not expressing oneself religiously is an inherent part of the job. That is even truer for a civil servant who, by reason of religion, does not want to conclude civil marriages between homosexuals.

Religion in a Globalizing World | Pew Research Center

He refuses to do a part of the job and, therefore, is not a likely person for his position. That exclusion, after all, is not motivated by pointing at religious conviction, as such, but by pointing at religiously inspired behavior. Attention must be paid to two interrelated issues. What part should government play regarding religion, substantively and should the government support religious communities financially?

Government and religious doctrine In the past, tensions between state and church were a regular phenomenon. As a result, governments were often inclined to interfere with the organization of religious communities and with religious doctrine. In England, the king as head of state, formally is still the supreme governor of the Church of England.

In this connection, it should be mentioned that the Catholic bishops in the Alsace are appointed by the French president, a rather bizarre arrangement in a laical state.

Religion in a Globalizing World

In Turkey, the Diyanet, the Directorate General for Religious Matters, not only appoints imams 42 but decides, as well, that respect for the state authorities and the army have to be represented as a religious duty. The power of the directorate to appoint imams is also relevant in other countries. The majority of the Dutch mosques for Muslims with a Turkish background fall under the powers of this directorate.

Nevertheless, in a democracy under the rule of law, such forms of governmental influence should be rejected. The government should not prescribe which religious doctrine is right or true. Government has another vocation, and such entanglement often leads to advantages for certain denominations or certain currents of belief.

From a religious point of view, it is also undesirable that the substance of a religion be dependent on political institutions and political decisions.