MTA Law Working Papers

A Jogtudományi Intézet műhelytanulmányai

Gábor Halmai: Religion and Constitutionalism

This paper deals with the relationship between religion, church-state relations, and different forms of constitutionalism. The study plans to investigate the topic from both a normative/theoretical and an empirical perspective. The normative part of the paper starts with the very definition of liberal constitutionalism, and the role of religion in this definition, followed by the characterization of illiberal constitutional approaches, including theocratic constitutionalism. The second part of the paper compares different national constitutional regulations on religion. In this empirical part, the paper uses case studies to analyze the role of church-state relations and religious freedom both in the established democratic system of Israel, and in emerging but still illiberal democracies, such as the one in Egypt, as well those backsliding to illiberal constitutionalism, such as the one in Hungary, and also discusses the likelihood that these constitutional models would spread to new sites.