Religion as Culture? How European and American High Courts Endorse Majority Religion

Joppke, Christian Georg (8 July 2015). Religion as Culture? How European and American High Courts Endorse Majority Religion (Unpublished). In: 22th Conference of Europeanists, Council for European Studies (CES) - "Contradictions: Envisioning European Futures". Paris, France. 08.-10.07.2015.

This paper examines a trend in European and American High Courts to endorse majority religion by transforming it into “culture”, and thus by secularizing it. To dissociate religion and state is the hallmark of the liberal state. However, no state has ever managed a perfect separation, not even the American. Under conditions of mounting religious pluralism and ongoing secularization, there is pressure on the state to live up to its “neutrality”. A main strategy to square the circle of neutrality and incomplete dissociation from religion is to declare it “culture”, which gives the state the license to associate or even identify with it (as guardian of nationhood). The paper compares recent American and European High Court rules on religious symbols (especially crucifixes) that exhibits this strategy, addressing similarities and differences as well as the limits and pitfalls of “culturalizing” religion.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Joppke, Christian Georg

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Michalina Zofia Preisner

Date Deposited:

09 Jun 2016 14:11

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2016 14:11

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81344

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