Category: Law Essay

The relationship between religion and politics is obvious. Religion never amounted only to faith in God and the afterlife or the performance of religious rites. It is a social doctrine that allowed monotheistic religions to grip the masses and thus affect the balance of power in society. Religion can be explained by its own real-life world and it regulates real relationships between people. Religion cannot perform complex social functions, including integrating, and would lose its appeal and cease to exist without religious interpretation of earthly relationships between people.

As a rule, causes of the new religious movements were socio-political in nature. Such movements have appeared in response to the urgent needs of society. Virtually, every newly arisen religious sect is a socio-political cell, and the system of its beliefs is a new socio-political doctrine that takes a religious form. It essentially deals with the history of the rise of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other religions.

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Ultimately, the idea that religion is the basis of law and order is not new and is repeatedly expressed by the greatest thinkers in the field of philosophy and law. Especially, this idea belongs to thinkers who saw the foundation of all laws in public authorities. Thus, smart identified the state as a spiritual and moral idea that is manifested in the form of the human will and freedom, so that the historical process on the merits is made by means of the state. A generalization of such statements would give rise to the law identified with the government as a manifestation of pure power. The current paper shows the relationship between law and religion, based on the works of scholars and religious norms in different countries of the modern world.

A new stage in strengthening the social and political role of religion has been the emergence of the church – a religious organization, serving as a means of creating relations within the religious community and its relations with the secular communities and organizations. Note that the church as an organization is characterized by the entire major attributes that are inherent to social institutions. Its elements are the general doctrine (ideology), religious activities (cult and non-cult), the church structure (management system of life, activity, behavior of believers). The church operates a certain system of regulatory rules and regulations (religious morality, etc.).

As the church developed, its political functions were amplified too. The authority of the church partly acquired a political nature, since it claimed to be the supreme authority in strengthening not only the family union but also public morality in compliance with rules and regulations for people. The church began to play an important role in strengthening the credibility of the government. Many authors analyzed the current activities of the church and saw it as one of the most influential components of the political system of society. In pursuing these efforts, the church is based on the fact that people need not only spirituality and faith but also religious justification for their commitment to meet the normal and purely earthly needs.

Successful completion of the public functions is impossible without a corresponding ideology. Therefore, a significant place is given to the development of a socio-political doctrine in the activities of any church. It is especially characteristic of Catholicism.

Religious ideology is based on the scriptures and teachings of the Church Fathers and the possibility of triumph of social justice and harmony of life on earth. The social doctrine of every church formulates the final “earth” purpose for millions of believers, and this movement is the meaning of their daily lives. Thus, participation determines believers in all areas of secular society, including the sphere of politics.

The need for a comprehensive study of the interaction of law and religion is determined by the fact that religion and law act as regulatory systems in the management of public relationship despite the different goals of their existence.

Understanding of the law as a regulator of social relations in the science of law is traditional. Thus, Benditt stated: “If we have drawn the law from special content, we get the total valuation of the laws of every creature in a certain way of life of many joint”. In turn, Berman said, “the law has its general purpose regulation of human relations”. Modern jurisprudence accepts that the “special laws assignment is to be a powerful social and regulatory control and a possible determinant of compulsory behavior of individuals and collective entities.” Law, as a universal regulator of social relations, is one of the tools of the state. Regulatory appointment of law is determined by the need to make normativity in social life. Law appears in the form of the normative regulatory system when it is necessary to ensure regulatory principle in the life of society. In this way, regulatory of law reflects the interdependence of cause-and-effect relationships with the cause that corrects the investigation, its shape, and effect.

Considering the law as a regulator, it must be admitted that its mission in society is an approval of the regulatory framework and regulatory legal effects to the public relations. Law regulates social relations in the interaction with other standards as part of the social regulatory function. One of these elements is a religion with a part of its value imposed on normative institutions. The most important problem of law is the social nature of religious law. In all the sacred books of the ancient and world religions, rules of behavior are formulated. These rules have all of the attributes of legal norms that are criminal law, civil law, and procedure. The social nature of such rules is explained by the fact that their performance is provided by the public coercion: violators of religious and legal regulations were subjected to the death penalty, corporal punishment, or bore a financial responsibility. These were the specific features of the religious law, distinguishing it from any other social regulation system, including systems of religious. On the other hand, the rules of any religious law are closely intertwined with religious rules and tenets of the holy books; in their social nature, they are legal, but not purely belong to the religious sphere.

As a rule, nowadays the foundations of the relationship between church and state in civil society are governed by rules of constitutional law, proclaiming the separation of church and state. It means that public authorities and officers will not interfere in the sphere of religious relations, including the activities of religious organizations, and will not charge them to perform different public functions. However, the state protects the lawful activities of religious organizations, taking a neutral position in terms of freedom of religion or belief.

Freedom of religion is a human right to choose the religious teachings meaning unhindered worship and ceremonies in accordance with this doctrine. In the subjective sense, as a human right, the concept of freedom of religion is equivalent, but it still means the right for the existence of all religions and enables each of them to freely preach the doctrine. However, often all of these terms are used as identical in common parlance.

According to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, freedom of conscience and religion is connected to the freedom of thought, including its freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of choice, and freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, in worship, observance, practice and observance and teachings. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

It is impossible to go along with those who do not see the inseparable connection of religious law and the state and consider it only one of the structural elements of religion. However, most scholars of religious law, as already mentioned, believe that it remains valid law until the execution of its provisions is ensured through state coercion. Considering the legal and religious systems, it should be noted that each of them is certain integrity, elements of which are interrelated and interdependent. The interaction between religion and right is highlighted in the following important relation:

  • The impact of each friend of homogeneous elements: religious ideology and sense of justice, religious and secular courts, religious and legal norms;
  • The combined effect of homogeneous elements of both systems on other social systems and social life, for example, the impact of religious and legal ideology on the moral concepts, the cumulative regulation of the legal and religious norms of social relations;
  • An impact of inhomogeneous elements of religious and legal systems that may be direct, such as the regulation of legal norms religious behavior and attitudes and internal church activities, and indirect meaning the influence of religious ideology on the formation of the rule of law through legal awareness as a result of the perception of justice religious ideas and concepts;
  • An interaction with the various branches of law in religion: the regulation of various aspects of church-state relations by legal and religious norms, property and other rights of religious organizations and clergy, legalization of ceremonies of worship in various areas of public life (for example, the coronation, United States Presidential Inauguration, the religious oath during the occupation of state positions, the religious oath in court and others);
  • The relationship with the various branches of law religion as a whole (for example, different degrees of secularization).