BRIDGING THE NATION AND THE STATE: CATHOLIC CHURCH IN POLAND AS POLITICAL ACTOR

  • Joanna Kulska University of Opole, Poland

Abstract

One of the most recognized features of social-political reality in Poland is the role of Catholicism as the determinant of national-political identity and of Catholic Church as the influential political actor. Being undoubtedly peculiar Polish case can be viewed as the example of the religiosity intertwined with national and civil identity existent in different forms in the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) region. The article aims at casting specifics of Polish case in the wider context of religious-political nexus in CEE stressing the distinctness of the region compared to some other parts of Europe. The conducted analysis focuses on the evolution of Church-state relations in Poland displayed in the broader framework of similar developments that, in spite of existing historical-political differences, characterize the region. Three fundamental perspectives are considered in the article. The first of them is social-cultural dimension creating the wide context for recognizing the religious factor as more or less fundamental for the given society. The second one is formal-legal framework resembling the specific religion-nation-state entanglement. The third is the role played by the Catholic Church in the context of civil society.

Keywords: Poland, Catholic Church, identity, religion, nation, civil society

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Published
2020-12-07
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