The author analyzes the relationship between religion and constitutionalism. The time seems propitious for an examination of the relationships in the West between Church/es, the State, and the general principles of “constitutionalism," a definition which cannot be separated from the analysis of its historical and secular roots.It is not arbitrary to explain constitutionalism as a product of a “long process of secularization, however, the idea of secularism (laicïté, in French) has never been clearly defined. On the contrary, it has often been the source of tension, for example the debate on the common Judeo-Christian heritage in Europe, during the drafting of the EU's Constitutional Treaty.In the West this is an era of unprecedented religious diversity. In some States one religion still predominates; in others, religious representatives have a formal political role, for example, the bishops who sit in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom where, as in Greece, a national Church remains a reality. Nevertheless, the separation between Church and State is, generally, the prevailing principle in the institutions of the Western legal systems and their politics. In any case, the “religion issue" still remains an important aspect of liberal constitutionalism which is a legal model that contains institutionalized mechanisms of power control to prevent tyranny and to guarantee individual rights and liberties, including religious freedom.The author will try to demonstrate that the discourse of human rights – a pillar of modern-contemporary constitutionalism – offers, both at national and supranational level, space for re-defining (i.e. re-inventing) the meaning and boundaries of sovereign power because it is more compatible with some fundamental principles, such as human dignity, rule of law, liberty of religion and conscience; as well as a more “homogeneous definition" of a secularized constitutional legal system.

Constitutionalism as Peaceful "Site" of Religious Struggles. Secularism and Legal System

ALICINO, FRANCESCO
2010

Abstract

The author analyzes the relationship between religion and constitutionalism. The time seems propitious for an examination of the relationships in the West between Church/es, the State, and the general principles of “constitutionalism," a definition which cannot be separated from the analysis of its historical and secular roots.It is not arbitrary to explain constitutionalism as a product of a “long process of secularization, however, the idea of secularism (laicïté, in French) has never been clearly defined. On the contrary, it has often been the source of tension, for example the debate on the common Judeo-Christian heritage in Europe, during the drafting of the EU's Constitutional Treaty.In the West this is an era of unprecedented religious diversity. In some States one religion still predominates; in others, religious representatives have a formal political role, for example, the bishops who sit in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom where, as in Greece, a national Church remains a reality. Nevertheless, the separation between Church and State is, generally, the prevailing principle in the institutions of the Western legal systems and their politics. In any case, the “religion issue" still remains an important aspect of liberal constitutionalism which is a legal model that contains institutionalized mechanisms of power control to prevent tyranny and to guarantee individual rights and liberties, including religious freedom.The author will try to demonstrate that the discourse of human rights – a pillar of modern-contemporary constitutionalism – offers, both at national and supranational level, space for re-defining (i.e. re-inventing) the meaning and boundaries of sovereign power because it is more compatible with some fundamental principles, such as human dignity, rule of law, liberty of religion and conscience; as well as a more “homogeneous definition" of a secularized constitutional legal system.
Ecclesiastical law; Secularization; Human rights; Constitutionalism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12572/231
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