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Political and Legal Perspectives

The Dynamics of Religious Reform in Northern Europe, 1780-1920

Keith Robbins (ed.)

Publication Year: 2010

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.

Published by: Leuven University Press

Series: Dynamics of Religious Reform

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4


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pp. 5-6

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pp. 7-31

‘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. ...


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pp. 32-33

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The United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland

The two chapters in this section cover the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland - the name adopted by the state two decades after the beginning of the period under review and which was about to break up, with the establishment of the Irish Free State, at its conclusion (with Northern Ireland remaining within the United Kingdom). It is not the mid-century but c.1870 which constitutes the point of division between the two ...

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The Reform and Extension of Established Churches in the United Kingdom, 1780-1870

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pp. 37-68

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 ...

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Church Establishment,Disestablishment and Democracy in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 1870-1920

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pp. 69-92

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. ...


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pp. 93-96

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The Low Countries

The Northern and Southern Netherlands formed two different states from the sixteenth century onwards. When, at the end of the eighteenth century, both came under the sphere of influence of revolutionary France, a process of modernisation was initiated. During the Restoration period (1815-1830) they were reunited and constituted the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. However, the contrasts that had developed in the previous centuries ...

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Liberal State and Confessional Accommodation

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pp. 99-116

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. ...

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Dutch Political Developments and Religious Reform

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pp. 117-142

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. ...


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pp. 143-146

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The German section has been written by two authors who have approached their task from different disciplinary backgrounds: Heiner de Wall is primarily an ecclesiastical lawyer and Andreas Gestrich a social historian. Nevertheless, this contribution has been conceived as a single piece. Differences of approach, under editorial guidance, have been worked through in the composition so that both legal and political perspectives receive interlocking attention. ...

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Constitutional Complexity and Confessional Diversity

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pp. 149-200

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. ...


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pp. 201-202

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The Nordic countries

This section considers church reform in its legal and political aspects across Scandinavia/ the Nordic region as a whole. It is obvious that it is in many respects a single story given the partially overlapping and certainly interlocking histories of Denmark, Norway and Sweden at this time. In the absence of an attempt at such a total history, as initially contemplated from another source, however, Liselotte Malmgart and Anders Jarlert have composed two parallel accounts of Denmark/Norway and Sweden respectively ...

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State and Church in Denmark and Norway

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pp. 205-224

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 ...

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Political Reform in Sweden

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pp. 225-239

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. ...


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pp. 240-241


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pp. 243-245


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p. 247-247


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p. 248-248

E-ISBN-13: 9789461660305
Print-ISBN-13: 9789058678256

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Dynamics of Religious Reform