Church and state in medieval Europe - Wikipedia
In the 11th century, during the reign of Henry III as Holy Roman emperor, the split between East and West was formalized when the pope at. Innovation During the Renaissance: Separation of Church and State The Renaissance was most prominent in Italy due to its location and the. relations between religion and political power, and lay religious culture in saw in the church-state conflicts of the communal period of the twelfth and thirteenth.
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During the 12th and 13th centuries, papal power greatly increased. In the 13th century, however, the greatest scholar of the age, St. Thomas Aquinasborrowing from Aristotle, aided in raising the dignity of the civil power by declaring the state a perfect society the other perfect society was the church and a necessary good.
The medieval struggle between secular and religious power came to a climax in the 14th century with the rise of nationalism and the increased prominence of lawyers, both royalist and canon. Numerous theorists contributed to the atmosphere of controversy, and the papacy finally met with disaster, first in the removal of the popes to Avignon under French influence and second with the Great Schism attendant upon an effort to bring the popes back to Rome.
Church discipline was relaxed, and church prestige fell in all parts of Europe. The immediate effect of the Reformation was to diminish the power of the church even further. Christianity in its fractured condition could offer no effective opposition to strong rulers, who now claimed divine right for their positions as head of church and state.
Many Lutheran churches became, in effect, arms of the state. In the 17th century there were few who believed that diversity of religious belief and a church unconnected with the civil power were possible in a unified state. Common religious standards were looked upon as a principal support of the political order. When the notions of diversity of belief and toleration of dissent did start to grow, they were not generally seen to conflict with the concept of a state church.
Church gradually became a defining institution of the Roman Empire. There was however a central ecclesiastical power in Rome, the Catholic Church. In this power vacuum, the Church rose to become the dominant power in the West. The Church started expanded in the beginning 10th century, and as secular kingdoms gained power at the same time, there naturally arose the conditions for a power struggle between Church and Kingdom over ultimate authority.
In essence, the earliest vision of Christendom was a vision of a Christian theocracya government founded upon and upholding Christian valueswhose institutions are spread through and over with Christian doctrine.
In this period, members of the Christian clergy wield political authority. The specific relationship between the political leaders and the clergy varied but, in theory, the national and political divisions were at times subsumed under the leadership of the Catholic Church as an institution.
Islamic lands were ruled by the Islamic codes, or Shariausually under a caliph as the supreme political leader. Although forcible conversions of non-Muslims were allowed in some circumstances, Islamic law guaranteed the rights of both Christians and Jews to worship according to their own traditions.
Church and State
Thus, Christians were usually granted greater religious freedom in Muslim lands than Muslims were granted in Christian countries; and Jews generally fared better under Muslim rulers than Christian ones. Islam generally holds to principle that both Judaism and Christianity, being religions inspired by Allah, should be tolerated and protected by the state. However, these religions must not attempt to convince Muslims to convert; their adherents have fewer civil rights that Muslims; their men often cannot marry Muslim women; and they are to be taxed more heavily than Muslims.
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Certain passages in the Qur'an allow for adherents of other religions—deemed to be infidels —to be forcibly converted to Islam, while other verses declare that there is to be "no compulsion in religion. Some governments, such as that of Turkeyare firmly secularistic and even ban Islamic dress in government jobs and schools.
Most Islamic governments actually provide for religious freedom for religions other than Christianity and Judaism, such as HinduismBuddhism, and many others. Nevertheless, since the demise of the Soviet UnionIslamic countries today generally have a poor record compared to other nations, in terms of allowing religious freedom to their citizens. A Caliphate in Sunni Islam —The head of state in this system is the Calipha successor to Muhammad 's political authority.
No such governments exist today. The restoration of the Caliphate is one of the stated goals of certain Islamic fundamentalist groups, including the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. A Wilayat al-Faqih for the Shia in the absence of an Imamah—This normally refers to role of the Islamic courts or a supreme Islamic leader such as the Ayatollah Khomeini as the interpreters and guardians of the Shari'a. An Islamic republic—This is a general term for the governmental system in many nation states who adopt Islam as a religion.
However, it is best known today in the case of Iranwhich is a particular form of Islamic republic along Shia fundamentalist lines. In western democracies that practice the principle of separation of church and statethe courts are strictly forbidden from enforcing religious law, but must adhere to the constitution or laws enacted by the legislature.
The Principle of Separation "Separation of Church and State" is often discussed as a political and legal principle derived from the First Amendment of the United States Constitutionwhich reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…" James Madison However, there are inevitable entanglements between the institutions of religion and the state, inasmuch as religious organizations and their adherents are a part of civil society.
Examples include laws against polygamyanimal sacrifice, hallucinogenic drugs; and laws requiring the swearing of oaths, military service, public school attendance, etc. Each of these complicate the idea of absolute separation. The phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a group of Danbury Baptists.
The term was used and defended by the Court until the early s. Since that time, the Court has distanced itself from the term somewhat, often suggesting the metaphor of a "wall of separation" conveys hostility to religion in contrast to Jefferson's original meaning "…in behalf of the rights of [religious] conscience. In practice, the principle has not been a simple one. Nor should separation of church and state be considered as synonymous with "separation of religion and politics.
A list of the issues in the separation between church and state in various parts of the world could include the following: Whether the state should officially establish a religion. State religions exist in relative free countries such as the Englandas well as relatively unfree countries such as Saudi Arabiaas well as countries with a mixed record on religious and political freedom, such as Israel.
Whether the state should act in a way that tends to favor certain religions over others, or which favors a religious attitude over a non-religious one. For example, is it better to encourage prayers in public schools, or to protect the rights of those students who might feel uncomfortable with certain types of prayers. Whether the state should officially fund religious activities or schools associated with religious bodies.
For example, should taxes go to pay the salaries of mainstream ministers, as they do in Germany and some other European countries today, or to aid non-religious education in Catholic schools. Whether the state should indirectly fund religious activities such as voluntary prayer meetings and Bible studies at public schools or religious displays on public properties.
Whether the state should fund non-religious activities sponsored by religious organizations. For example, should the government support "faith-based" charitable programs to feed the hungry.
Whether the state should not prescribe, proscribe, or amend religious beliefs. For example, can the state require students to say the words "under God" when pledging allegiance to their country; and can it prohibit preachers from giving sermons that denigrate homosexual acts as sinful?
Whether the state should endorse, criticize, or ban any religious belief or practice.
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For example should the state prohibit the wearing of distinctive religious clothing, the practice of animal sacrifice, or the refusal by parents to accept medical treatment for their children? Should it ban the preaching of violent jihad against non-Islamic regimes? Whether the state should interfere in religious hierarchies or intervene in issues related to membership. This becomes a question, for example, when members of a religious congregation sue a religious institution for control of assets or for damages resulting from the behavior of religious officials, such as sexual abuse by priests.
Whether a state may prohibit or restrict religious practices. Examples include polygamycircumcisionfemale genital mutilation, animal sacrifices, holding prayer meetings in private homes, fundraising in public facilities, and evangelizing door to door. Is it appropriate for the state to print "In God We Trust" on its currencyto refer to God in its national anthem, or to cause its leaders to swear public oaths to God before assuming office? Whether political leaders may express religious preferences and doctrines in the course of their duties.Did the Church Actually Hate Copernicus? - Adam Ruins Everything
Whether religious organizations may attempt to prescribe, proscribe, or amend civil or common law through political processes open to other institutions.
Some nations forbid religions from supporting legislation, others limit it to a percentage of the religion's financial activity, and others place no restrictions on such activities. Whether religions may intervene in civil political processes between the state and other nations.
Specifically does a church have the right to be a party in official international forums, as other non-governmental organizations do. Whether religious institutions may actively endorse a political figure, or instead limit themselves to moral, ethical, and religious teaching.
Some countries ban churches from political activity altogether; others impose penalties such as the loss of tax exemption for such actions; and state religions often actively endorse or oppose political candidates.
Conclusion There will always be tension in the relationship between church and state as the spiritual culture of a country changes. At times the churches will be able to have religious moral values enshrined in legislation. At other times it will be secular values that will predominate. In some ways the relationship could be compared to that of a well-ordered mind and body. The church should provide the spiritual and moral values that should inform the public life of a country and be embodied in its legislation giving it a sense of purpose or vision.
Church and State in Contemporary Europe: Frank Cass Publishers, Kirsch, Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. Donation of ConstantineNew Advent.
Retrieved August 17, Retrieved October 13, The Religious Origins of American Pluralism. Oxford University Press, Cochran, Clark, and Derek Davies. Church, State and Public Justice: The Separation of Church and State: