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Political and Legal Perspectives

Political and Legal Perspectives: The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe, 1780-1920

Volume: 1
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: Leuven University Press
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Political and Legal Perspectives
    Book Description:

    Before the last quarter of the eighteenth century there was a generally clear and remarkably uniform pattern of church-state relationships across Europe. In the course of the nineteenth century this firm alliance between political and religious establishments broke down. Religious pluralism developed everywhere, though at different speeds, requiring church and state to reach fresh solutions. This volume Political and Legal Perspectives highlights the impact of broad political change, ‘democratization', on the question of religious reform, in Northern Europe. Competing political parties expressed contrasting views about whether ‘the state' should be ‘neutral' or whether it should give particular support to one or other churches. It is hardly surprising that there was no simple ‘one fits it all' solution. Some countries were multi-confessional where others were still in some sense confessional. This volume shows a set of problems and circumstances which were often common but which led to outcomes which were, and to an extent still remain, ‘different'. The research focus of this book is historical but how ‘the state' deals with ‘the church' (and ‘the church' with ‘the state') continues to be a live and pressing public issue in a multi-confessional and multi-faith European Union.

    eISBN: 978-94-6166-030-5
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 7-31)
    Keith Robbins

    ‘The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Church, State and Society in Northern Europe 1780-1920’ encompasses a wide field of investigation. The first task is to consider what kind of ‘place identity’ is being suggested by the term ‘Northern Europe’. A moment’s reflection or, alternatively, prolonged immersion in the concepts of cultural geography, prompts the response that there is no simple, single and universally satisfying answer. A name distinguishes a particular place from other spatial entities. Its sense may be weak or strong. Its identity, supposing we can speak confidently about identity, may be established either by some kind of internal...

  4. Bibliography
    (pp. 32-34)
  5. The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland

    • The Reform and Extension of Established Churches in the United Kingdom, 1780-1870
      (pp. 37-68)
      Stewart J. Brown

      During the latter phase of the Napoleonic Wars, the United Kingdom began directing unprecedented amounts of public money towards improving and extending its established churches. Despite the massive costs of the war, the parliamentary state invested heavily in building new churches, repairing and enlarging existing churches, providing church-based schools, building residence houses for the clergy, and increasing the incomes of poorly paid clergy. Combined with grants of money, the state also enacted measures of church reform, strengthening the powers of bishops, requiring higher standards of pastoral care from the clergy, and improving the incomes and conditions of curates. This movement...

    • Church Establishment, Disestablishment and Democracy in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1870-1920
      (pp. 69-92)
      Keith Robbins

      In June 1895, a historian who had once threatened to detonate a mine when he was in Rome observing the Vatican Council in 1870 - where it was decreeing what he thought ought not to have been decreed - delivered his inaugural lecture as Regius Professor of History in the University of Cambridge. His text ran to seventy-four pages, the notes to fifty-seven, but the smaller print of the notes meant that they contained many words more than the lecture. No man in the England of his time had thought more about ‘church and state’ over the long European past...

    • Bibliography
      (pp. 93-96)
  6. The Low Countries

    • Liberal State and Confessional Accommodation The Southern Netherlands / Belgium
      (pp. 99-116)
      Emiel Lamberts

      In the Southern Netherlands, under Spanish rule in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and under Austrian rule in the eighteenth century, the Catholic Church had the position of a state religion, recognised and protected by civil authority. In the first half of the sixteenth century Calvinist influence in these regions had been considerable, but the Catholic Counter Reformation had put an end to that. The Catholic Church had a wide range of activities: it served the pastoral needs of the faithful and also played a dominant role in education and in the care of the poor and sick. The higher...

    • Dutch Political Developments and Religious Reform
      (pp. 117-142)
      James C. Kennedy

      The relation between church and state has seldom commanded much political interest in the Netherlands. One might argue that the Netherlands, arguably the least ‘confessionalised’ state of continental Europe in the early modern period, had the least distance to go towards a church-state relationship most people would regard as ‘modern’, that is, an arrangement in which there is no privileged or established church. Already a relatively religiously plural country in 1780, it is not surprising that the Netherlands had developed a system of ‘principled pluralism’ by 1920, in which religious and non-religious organisations alike enjoyed equal access both to the...

    • Bibliography
      (pp. 143-146)
  7. Germany

    • Constitutional Complexity and Confessional Diversity
      (pp. 149-200)
      Heiner de Wall and Andreas Gestrich

      The political and legal relationship between church and state was particularly complex in Germany as so many core parameters of this relationship kept changing. In the early nineteenth century the political map of Germany altered profoundly. At its outset, many member states of the former Holy Roman Empire disappeared completely or lost their status as autonomous political units, a few also did so later. Others grew through the incorporation of these formerly independent territories. Through these changes in the political landscape previously mono-confessional states frequently became multi-confessional.

      The successor formations of the Holy Roman Empire also changed. The German Federation...

    • Bibliography
      (pp. 201-202)
  8. The Nordic Countries

    • State and Church in Denmark and Norway
      (pp. 205-224)
      Liselotte Malmgart

      The relationship between state and church in the Scandinavian countries in the period covered by this volume remained profoundly influenced by two major developments: the sixteenth-century Lutheran Reformation and seventeenth-century absolutism. The account that follows identifies challenges and adaptations to these ‘foundations’ but the state-church relationship cannot be understood without some preliminary commentary which explains their significance.

      After the Reformation, the Evangelical Lutheran Churches were established as state churches, resulting in a close cooperation between the monarchy and the ecclesiastical authorities, foremost the bishops, who in practice were senior civil servants. Despite similarities in the Nordic countries, their circumstances did...

    • Political Reform in Sweden
      (pp. 225-239)
      Anders Jarlert

      On 22 June 1866, Archbishop Henric Reuterdahl of Uppsala (1795-1870), Speaker of the Estate of Clergy in Parliament, faced with the fact that the four-estate parliament was to be abolished and replaced by two elected chambers, gave vent to his feelings about this step - the greatest political change of the position of the church in Sweden since the Middle Ages: “When I say that our work is forever ended, I say this without delight, but without sadness as well. I cannot delight in changes which interrupt the whole development history of an old people to start a new one....

    • Bibliography
      (pp. 240-242)
  9. Index
    (pp. 243-246)
  10. Authors
    (pp. 247-247)
  11. Colophon
    (pp. 248-248)