Constitution and Religion - An examination of a country’s Constitution offers useful pointers for understanding how the state in question conceives and regulates its relationship with religion. In this essay, the author analyses the constitutions of all the countries of the world, considering three groups of enactments: the ones that concern a constitution’s inspiring ideals and principles, the ones that deal with the sources of law and, lastly, the ones that regulate the relationships between the state and religions. An examination of this material paints a picture of the position accorded to religion in each country’s legal system and above all highlights the differences attributed to the cultural and religious background that inspires them: in particular, the differences between the Western countries with a Christian tradition and the Arabian countries with an Islamic tradition, but also the differences found, within the Islamic world itself, between Arabian and non-Arabian countries. While recognising that any comparison between constitutions needs to be completed by an analysis of other sources of legislation and jurisprudence, this article indicates several directions for future research to develop on this work.
Silvio Ferrari, in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL DIRITTO " 3/2008, pp. 5-46, DOI:10.3280/SD2008-003001