Theses/Dissertations - Church-State Studies

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    It's our country and it's our cathedral : Sajūdis and the Lithuanian Catholic Church.
    (2014-06-11) Cruz, Miranda Zapor.; Long, B. Michael, 1957-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Lietuvos Persitvarkymo Sąjūdis, ‘Lithuanian Movement for Perestroika’, was the popular nationalist movement that led Lithuania toward independence from the Soviet Union on 11 March 1990. In order to gain the Lithuanian people’s support, Sajūdis capitalized on the historically close bond between Catholicism and national identity. This dissertation will examine the relationship between Sajūdis and the Lithuanian Catholic Church (LCC), which will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of Lithuanian history and the importance of religious nationalism for Lithuania’s popular independence movement. This dissertation argues that the relationship between Sajūdis and the Lithuanian Catholic Church was essential, intentional, and mutually beneficial. Sajūdis’ relationship with the LCC was essential for the movement’s success. Although there were several cultural and historical aspects of Lithuanian national identity that might have served as foundations for the independence movement, the Catholic Church was deeply connected to Lithuanian nationalism and had greater mass appeal and trust than any other source of national identity. Moreover, as a sacred institution, the LCC had the ability to legitimate Sajūdis and motivate Lithuanians to support the independence movement. Both Sajūdis and the LCC intentionally forged their relationship by courting the other’s support and involvement. Sajūdis courted the LCC’s support by recruiting priests and giving them prominent roles at rallies and other events, and by incorporating into its political agenda the LCC’s concerns, including religious freedom and property. The LCC demonstrated its support for Sajūdis through participation in the movement’s events and promotion of its political ideals. Sajūdis and the LCC built their relationship because it was mutually beneficial; both Sajūdis and the LCC stood to gain socially and materially in ways that would not have been available to them without the relationship. Sajūdis benefited from the relationship when it gained a share of the LCC’s high level of public trust and when Sajūdis-supported candidates won elections. The LCC benefitted when its properties were returned, religious freedom was restored, and the Church was able to reestablish its role in society through media, education, and charitable work.
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    A question of balance : a study of legal equality and state neutrality in the United States of America, France, and the Netherlands.
    (2013-09-24) Norton, Brenda J.; Waltman, Jerold L., 1945-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Western liberal democracy has a dual foundation of limited government implementing the will of the majority and protecting individual autonomy within a sphere of fundamental rights. This foundation is implemented through a constitutional framework with some schema for the recognition of separate powers. When adopting a constitutional structure the polity seeks to provide administrable legal standards which are drawn from moral and political principles. The structure shapes the relationship between religion and government and restricts legislative choice with regard to religion and other basic rights. Within this broad framework, legislatures may freely adopt laws which reflect their political values. Courts are to strive for something more. They are to interpret constitutional standards using specific legal interpretive techniques which may generate an outcome that may run counter to the view of the political branches. Thus, there is a continual balancing required between the enactment of the will of the majority and the protection of individual rights. Under the rubric of universal human rights Western societies take for granted that they tolerate all religions and treat all persons equally. However, through globalization and immigration Western societies are increasingly finding non-Christian people in their midst. This pluralism is causing polities to rethink fundamental notions of the boundaries of religious freedom, equality, and state neutrality. Three countries whose systems are based on the Western liberal democratic philosophy and which are religiously pluralist— the United States, France, and the Netherlands— are reacting in different ways. The politics of the hijab and burqa lie at the intersection of the political and legal spheres. Consequently, the political and legal spheres have each attempted to enforce differing versions of the concepts of equality and neutrality. A cross-cultural and cross-national survey of judicial decisions and legislative action in these countries demonstrates how each is balancing individual rights and communal bonds, and adhering to or retreating from previously accepted human rights norms for women and religious practices.
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    From separationism to theocracy : how the domestic relationship between religion and state conditions the salience of religion in foreign policy.
    (2013-09-24) Kent, Jennifer M.; Waltman, Jerold L., 1945-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    The study of international politics has undergone a profound re-consideration of disciplinary assumptions about religion since the end of the Cold War. From Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations to Peter Berger’s Desecularization of the World, scholars are attempting to identify and explain the re-emergence of religion globally and decipher its meaning and ramifications for the conduct of international politics. Unlike power and economics, which are constant pressures in the international system, religion is not present everywhere at all times but in some circumstances and often erratically. This dissertation asks how it becomes possible—under what situations or circumstances—for religion to be a salient feature of a nation’s foreign policy. It hypothesizes that the domestic religion-state relationship affects the salience of religion in a state’s foreign policies and the ways in which religion is salient in a state’s foreign policies. This dissertation takes a comparative approach, selecting three cases that differ in their domestic religion-state relationships: the United States, Russia and Iran. A historical account of the domestic religion-state relationship in each case is provided as well as the ways in which religion has functioned as a salient feature in each state’s foreign policies historically. The comparative analysis focuses on the two-decade period immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The comparative analysis reveals that religion performs at least one function (legitimation, mobilization, or identity creation/delineation) at the foreign policy level in all three case studies. Religion is a more salient feature of Iranian foreign policy than of the foreign policies of either Russia or the United States. With some caveats, the ways in which religion functions in each state’s foreign policy is conditioned by the domestic religion-state relationship, such that American separationism limits the functionality of religion at the foreign policy level, the Russian symphonic relationship with religion at the domestic level enables a partnership model at the foreign policy level, and the Iranian theocratic model is consistent across the domestic policy-foreign policy divide.
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    Soviet religious samizdat as a powerful weapon of Soviet religious dissent : a comparative study of Baptist and Orthodox samizdat publications from the early 1960s to the late 1980s.
    (2013-09-16) Seago, Larisa G.; Mitchell, William A., 1940-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    In the Soviet Union where government controlled every written and spoken word the sole way of communicating uncensored information was samizdat – a system of underground publication which existed in the Soviet Union from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. Soviet religious dissidents extensively used samizdat in their struggle for freedom of conscience. Many of their publications reached the West and soon became the sole source of truthful information about religious persecution in the Soviet Union. Baptist and Orthodox dissents contributed the most to Soviet religious samizdat. This study analyzes and describes samizdat publications produced by these denominations. It explores the two groups’ forms of organizational efforts and their use of samizdat. It demonstrates that while Orthodox dissent produced a greater variety of samizdat publications, Baptist dissent turned it into a powerful weapon in its struggle for religious freedom.
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    Competing schemas within the American liberal democracy : an interdisciplinary analysis of differing perceptions of church and state.
    (2013-09-16) Holzer, Shannon.; Beckwith, Francis.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    The current understanding of liberal democracy in many academic circles includes a set of restraints on the types of justification that are accepted for the creation of coercive legislation. There is much debate over which sources should be accepted to publically justify laws touching on education and morality. Many believe that religious beliefs are outside of public reason, and they are, thus, inadequate to justify the formation of coercive laws. The reason for this is that many people perceive religious reasoning as irrational, divisive, and dangerous. Because of this perception, religion has by and large been relegated to the private sphere. The perception of religious reasoning as irrational, divisive, and dangerous has also become firmly engrained in the legal community. Because of this, state and federal courts tend to treat legislation that is organically connected to religion as a violation of the Establishment Clause. This dissertation argues that this perception of religion is incomplete. Those who perceive religion as irrational, dangerous, and divisive somehow do not recognize its reasonable, peaceful, and unifying aspects. Furthermore, the problems popularly attributed to religious reason are not unique to religion. Secular reasoning can also be irrational, dangerous, and divisive. Ultimately, religious reasoning may indeed have a place in the formation of coercive legislation that is tolerable to its detractors. The incorporation of religious reasoning does not entail an all-out theocracy as many might fear. Given that the fundamental principles of liberal democracy are often grounded on religious premises, to require restraint of religious reasoning would be to remove the foundation of liberal principles on which this country stands. Furthermore, it would violate a key tenet of liberal democracy that all should be treated free and equal by placing a burden on the religious citizen that is not shared by the non-religious citizen.
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    Baptist environmentalisms : a comparison of American Baptist and Southern Baptist attitudes, actions and approaches toward environmental issues.
    (2013-09-16) Weaver, Aaron Douglas.; McDaniel, Charles A.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    This dissertation articulates how and why Southern Baptists and American Baptists have addressed environmental issues during the critical second and third waves of environmental history. With the birth of the modern environmental movement as a logical starting point, Southern Baptist and American Baptist attitudes and actions concerning key environmental questions in American political and environmental history are examined. These include: population explosion (1960s), energy crises (1970s), environmental backlash (1980s) and international ecological concerns (1990s to present). This dissertation argues that Southern Baptists and American Baptists, while enjoying some similarities along the way and despite their shared Baptist heritage, have adopted and promoted very different environmentalisms. The findings from this comparative study reveal that these dissimilar environmentalisms are due to four factors relating to ethics, political engagement approaches, the regulatory role of government and attitudes toward advancements in science and technology. First, Southern Baptists and American Baptists have embraced disparate environmental ethics. Second, Southern Baptists and American Baptists have taken distinct political engagement approaches due to differing theological commitments. Third, Southern Baptists and American Baptists have adopted different attitudes about the appropriate regulatory role of government regarding environmental issues. Fourth and finally, Southern Baptists and American Baptists have held contrasting perspectives on prevailing scientific viewpoints and advancements in technology. These four factors offer answers to how and why these two related historic Protestant denominations have taken such divergent paths with regard to care of the environment or God’s creation. Nearly forty years after the first-ever Earth Day on April, 22, 1970, Southern Baptists and American Baptists had come to embrace radically different environmentalisms. American Baptists preached and practiced an environmentalism that sought strict environmental regulations and was defined by an eco-justice ethic emphasizing the interconnectedness of humans with their environment. Meanwhile, Southern Baptists were preaching and practicing a distinctly different environmentalism. Southern Baptists abandoned the ethic of previous decades and replaced it with a decidedly more conservative ethic that continued to utilize the language of stewardship but was increasingly anthropocentric and strikingly development-focused. Also, an anti-regulation philosophy and skepticism of prevailing scientific viewpoints characterized their environmentalism.
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    Freedom in the thought and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    (2013-09-16) Emblem, Erik Steven.; Payne, Daniel P.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    The purpose of this dissertation is to discover Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s interpretation of freedom. King’s life was dedicated to a pursuit of freedom for African Americans, the poor, and unfree people around the world. This dissertation takes a comprehensive approach to answering the question: What did King envision when he spoke of freedom? To answer that research question I address King’s interpretation of freedom; the significance of freedom to him; and how he hoped to apply freedom in the sociopolitical world? The answers to these questions are sought through the interpretation, and analysis of King’s beliefs as presented in his writings. This dissertation asserts that King’s interpretation of freedom is that people possess the innate ability to decide who they are and how they will be and that each person has the right to actualize her/his will in the phenomenal world. Important to his idea of freedom are some of the components included in the Human Development and Capabilities Approach—especially the conviction that people have the innate right to both substantive and instrumental freedoms. This dissertation argues that King’s idea of freedom was rooted in his experience as an American, an African American and Black Christian; his commitment to the ideas of Christian personalism; his belief that a good state will both protect and provide freedom; and that the moral law of God is on the side of freedom. Questions for further consideration arise out of this dissertation. Is King’s dream too utopian? Is he attempting to overcome the harsh reality that one’s existence is a struggle against the forces that are beyond human capability (e.g., Is he in a way denying death?). Another question that arises from this dissertation addresses the matter of a transcendent moral code. If King’s interpretation of freedom is rooted in God’s law, who is the human arbiter of God’s law? With the growth of secularism in the United States and closeting of religious dialogue in the public square, is it possible to realize King’s dream? These are important questions; however, they do not diminish from King’s interpretation of freedom and the value he placed on realizing freedom in the world.
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    Multiple modernizations, religious regulations and church responses : the rise and fall of three “Jerusalems” in communist China.
    (2013-09-16) Zhong, Zhifeng.; Mitchell, William A., 1940-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    There is an extensive literature on modernization, regulation and religious change from a global perspective. However, China is usually understudied by the scholars. Numerous studies tackle the puzzle of the rising of Christianity and its implications in China. However they fail to synthesize the multiple dynamics and diverse regional difference. This dissertation approaches the development of Christianity in contemporary China from a regional perspective. By doing a case study on twelve churches in three prefecture cities (Guangzhou, Wenzhou and Nanyang), I examine how different historical processes and factors interacted to shape the uneven development of Christianity under the communist rule. The main research questions are: How did Protestantism survive, transform and flourish under a resilient communism regime? What factors account for the regional variance of the transformation of Christianity? I argue that there are multiple modernizations in China, and they created various cultural frames in the regions. Although the party-state tried to eliminate religion, Protestantism not only survived, but transformed and revived in the Cultural Revolution, which laid the foundation for momentum growth in the reform era. The development of Protestantism in China is dynamic, path-dependent, and contingent on specific settings. Different modernizations, religious regulation, historical legacy and church responses led to the rise and fall of three “Jerusalems” in communist China.
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    An evaluation of the conceptual similarities and differences between the strategic logic of the religiously motivated suicide attacks of Tokkotai kamikaze and al-Qaeda shahid.
    (2013-09-16) Mizuta, Jonathan Juichi.; Mitchell, William A., 1940-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    What motivated members of al-Qaeda to hijack commercial airliners and crash them into the sides of buildings? Is it similar to what motivated Japanese fighter pilots to crash their jets into the sides of American aircraft carriers? If so, what can these two seemingly disparate phenomena tell us about the nature of the relationship between religion and violence? Finally, were the attacks of the two groups both responses to American actions abroad (which is often described as “American imperialism”)? While Americans no longer face the threat of attack from kamikaze pilots, the attacks of September 11, 2001 by members of al-Qaeda demonstrated that the threat of suicide attack by Islamic extremists, or shahid, is very real. Despite the efforts of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the branches of the United States military as well as dozens of their sister agencies in other countries, the number of religiously motivated suicide attacks perpetrated against the United States has increased exponentially since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, though the most devastating event remains the attacks on September 11, 2001. The only other time that the United States and its allies have faced suicide attacks of this volume and magnitude occurred in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Those attacks were carried out by the pilots of the Tokkotai, more commonly known as the kamikaze of the Empire of Japan. There are several significant similarities between the suicide attacks perpetrated against the U.S. by members of al-Qaeda and those perpetrated against the U.S. by the Tokkotai, most notably the utilization of religious rhetoric to justify suicide attacks. This dissertation will compare these two groups, investigating the histories of their foundational religions (Shinto and Islam) and their radical interpretations (State Shinto and Jihadism), their historical interactions with the West, and their utilization of suicide attacks in their fight against perceived oppression by the United States.
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    Lone wolves : an assessment of the ideology behind homegrown Islamist individual terrorists.
    (2013-05-15) Peery, William Joseph.; Mitchell, William A., 1940-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Lone wolf terrorism is an increasing threat in the United States. However, there is little information available that examines the nature of lone wolf terrorism. This thesis interprets the available literature regarding militant Islamist lone wolf terrorists in the United States. I define lone wolf terrorism as terrorism committed by individuals who operate independently from formal terror networks. Individuals who engage in lone wolf terrorism typically `` combine personal motivations with a particular radical ideology to justify their attacks. I examine one particular radical ideology, that is militant Islamism, and the role it plays in motivating individuals to carry out terrorist attacks. I conclude that, despite efforts from formal terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the majority of militant Islamist lone wolf terrorist operations are ineffective due to these individual’s inexperience in planning and executing attacks.
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    From Neo-orthodox theology to rationalistic deism : a study of the religious influences on the development of John Rawls's political philosophy.
    (2013-05-15) Kim, Keeho, 1967-; Beckwith, Francis.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    The purpose of this dissertation is to demonstrate that John Rawls’s early religious beliefs guided the development of his later political philosophy. By first analyzing A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin & Faith, I argue that the young Rawls’s embrace of Neo-orthodoxy shaped his later philosophical view of human dignity and that the central themes of his undergraduate thesis reappear in secular forms in his philosophical development, despite his abandonment of Neo-orthodox beliefs soon after World War II. I will trace the changes of Rawls’s view on his own religion through a comparison of his main works, from the young Rawls’s Neo-orthodox beliefs to the later Rawls’s rationalistic deism. In the mature Rawls’s political philosophy, I will show that the secular Rawls still holds the Good Samaritan’s ideals such as fraternity, mutual respect, love, and justice as the motivating forces behind the development of his two principles of justice and the duty of assistance. My conclusion is that even though Rawls gave up the basic beliefs of the Protestant Episcopal Church, he never abandoned the religious motivations that he held in his adolescence. Both the young Rawls’s theological work and the mature Rawls’s philosophical thought share the view that there are deep inequalities and other great evils in society and human history. As a solution, while the young Rawls appeals to the restoration of community through overcoming sin by faith, through A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism (1993), and The Law of Peoples (1999), the later Rawls pursues the establishment of the realistic utopia of a well-ordered society that will eliminate the great evils through the establishment of just social institutions. Moreover, I show that, contrary to his declared rejection of metaphysics in his theory of justice, Rawls engaged with metaphysical themes such as human nature, theodicy, moral motivation, and the problem of evil throughout his career, from his senior thesis to his later works. In the concluding chapter, I discuss the differences between the young and the later Rawls as he transitioned from Neo-orthodoxy to Rationalistic deism, nevertheless emphasizing that Christian values continued to motivate his work until the end. Key words: Neo-orthodox Theology, Moral Constructivism, Kantian Constructivism, Political Constructivism, International Morality, Just War, Urgent Human rights, Decency, John Rawls, Emil Brunner.
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    International politics, American Protestant missions and the Middle East.
    (2013-05-15) Barrett, John C., 1973-; Mitchell, William A., 1940-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    American Protestant missionaries have been active in the Middle East since the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th Century. Their presence has had a notable impact on international relations. Prior to World War I, missionaries were the greatest American interest in the region and the U.S. government often exerted diplomatic pressure on their behalf. The missionaries, moreover, played a pivotal lobbying role during and immediately after World War I, advocating against war with the Ottoman Empire but strongly favoring independence movements and U.S. mandates in the region. Missionary educational institutions, moreover, fomented nationalist movements and instilled western ideas into their students. During this time, international politics also had a tremendous impact on American mission work. World War I interrupted mission efforts and, more importantly, called into question long-held theological beliefs that were the foundation of the movement. Following World War I, mission work in the Middle East virtually collapsed only to resurge again after World War II. During this second wave of effort, mission work has had a smaller impact on international relations because the United States now has greater political and business interests in the region. International relations, on the other hand, continue to have a great impact mission work. U.S. support for Israel politically divides missionaries and their domestic Christian supporters. The latter strongly support Israel while the former are more sympathetic to the Palestinian perspective. In Iraq, international politics both opened and closed the door to mission work. Saddam Hussein’s genocidal attacks against the Kurds and U.S. opposition to his regime have also reportedly fostered pro-American sentiments that make mission work there more feasible. In Iran, the rise of a theocratic government closed the door to direct mission work by Americans but, at the same time, its draconian policies have fostered resentment towards Islam. American efforts to evangelize Iran via TV and radio broadcast are reportedly baring fruit as a result.
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    Roman Catholic Hegemony and Religious Freedom : a Seventh-day Adventist assessment of Dignitatis Humanae.
    (2012-11-29) Cook, Edwin A.; Payne, Daniel P.; Church and State.; Fleidner Foundation, Madrid, Spain.; Secretaria de Gobernacion, Asociaciones Religiosos, Mexico .; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Roman Catholic Hegemony and Religious Freedom sets forth the “Catholic hegemony” thesis, meaning the Church applies Dignitatis Humanae in different ways, depending upon extant political and religious conditions in a given country, --- in some cases to maintain its hegemony, and in others to establish its hegemony over time. Hegemony, as used here, does not refer to singular dominance, as demonstrated by the Church during the medieval era. Rather, it refers to the Church seeking and maintaining a place of preeminence among other religious groups within a pluralistic society founded upon a constitutional democracy. By examing Dignitatis Humanae from a Seventh-day Adventist understanding of religious freedom, this dissertation contributes to a more profound dialogue regarding religious freedom as held by Seventh-day Adventists and Catholics. The theoretical chapters, one through three, include the historical context, current debate, and the philosophical foundations for Dignitatis Humanae. Chapter four presents a Seventh-day Adventist understanding of religious freedom and addresses areas of similarity as well as differences between Adventist and Catholic concepts of religious freedom. Chapters five through seven examine how Dignitatis Humanae is applied in the countries of Spain, Mexico, and the United States, respectively. The conclusion of this dissertation finds that the Catholic hegemony thesis is correct and such a conclusion contributes to the on-going academic discussion of religious freedom, as well as impacts the formation of public policy in those countries where Dignitatis Humanae has influenced relations between government, the Catholic Church, and other religious groups.
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    Dynamic civil religion and religious nationalism : the Roman Catholic Church in Poland and the Orthodox Church in Romania, 1990-2010.
    (2012-11-29) Tarţa, Mihai Iustin.; Payne, Daniel P.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    This dissertation addresses the association of national identity and religious tradition of the Polish Roman Catholic Church (PRCC) in Poland and the Romanian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Romania, and analyses the evolution and the contemporary significance of sacralized politics. This study relies on a historical comparative study of two most similar cases and it tracks the evolution and analyses the discourse of the PRCC and ROC, the state’s discourse, and the presence of religious symbols in state institutions. Using an interdisciplinary comparative method, this study is about the civil religious attitude of the two ecclesiastical institutions in relation to the nation-state and national identity in the post-communist period (1990-2012). It looks specifically at the relevance of religion in connection to nationalism, the official and unofficial discourse of the two ecclesiastical institutions, at politician’s discourse, and lay intellectuals’ discourse. The sacralization of politics concept best explains the gap between the high religiosity professed by Poles and Romanians and the low participation in religious life and pertains to the salience of civil religion in the detriment of "traditional" religion. Therefore, this dissertation asks what is the relation between religion and politics concerning the fusion of sacred ecclesiastical identity and national identity in Poland and Romania. The molding of religion and politics in the sociopolitical and historical context of the nation-state describes a dynamic phenomenon where the nation becomes sacred and the sacred becomes nationalized. It demonstrates that the molding of nationalism and religion materialized in civil religion, political religion and religious nationalism and it indicates a historical debate regarding the proper place of religion in public. In both countries, there was competition and shifts between banal civil religion and more assertive forms like political religion and religious nationalism. Poland and Romania first expressed their national identity by using a civil religious discourse with religious nationalist accents, than this discourse partially shifted towards political religion under the authoritarian Communist regimes and it reemerged as a banal civil religion after 1989.
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    Religion and the conflict over Nagorno Karabakh.
    (2012-08-08) Tonoyan, Artyom H.; Berger, Peter L., 1929-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    The Armenian‐Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabakh has been one of the bloodiest and most intractable conflicts in the post‐Soviet space. Although there have been a number of recently published important works regarding the conflict they have almost exclusively dealt with economic and political aspects of the conflict. Important as these factors are, the present study argues that by focusing exclusively on rational choice models conflict analysts and historians have unjustifiably neglected another important aspect of the conflict, namely its religious dimension. By drawing upon the historical experiences of the Armenians and Azerbaijanis, in which religion has played an important role in their respective identity formation, I propose that despite extensive arguments to the contrary religion was an important factor in the conflict as it served a complex set of sociological, political, and cultural roles. I further argue that although religion was an important factor, the conflict itself did not develop into a fully religious one. To accomplish the task at hand I reassess and reinterpret the available data utilizing a variety of intermeshing theories employing an interdisciplinary approach.
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    The separation of love and state : C. S. Lewis and Søren Kierkegaard as political allies.
    (2012-08-08) Pardo, Travis R.; Beckwith, Francis.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Does a limited government limit neighbor-love? Through their writings, C. S. Lewis and Søren Kierkegaard have inspired many individuals to “love thy neighbor,” yet these authors do not call for government to fulfill the command to love others. This is inconsistent, critics say, for neighbor-love ought to have political dimensions as well; in fact, love requires more government, not less. But Lewis and Kierkegaard favor a small and limited government. They are “generous liberal givers” on the individual level but “absolute conservative restrictors” on the collective political level. Why? These two men do not directly answer this charge of inconsistency, but this essay aims to extract three possible answers from their theology and political philosophy. All three answers agree that neighbor-love has social but not political implications: (1) the Argument from Corruption: sin hinders love; (2) the Argument from Force: a person cannot be forced to love by government since love requires consent; and (3) the Argument from the Holy Spirit: neighbor-love is divine love and the government does not have access to it; but the Church does have access by way of the Holy Spirit. If true, the Holy Spirit may be a missing variable in Church-State calculations for a model of Low State, High Church.
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    Transnational religion in Greek American political advocacy.
    (2012-08-08) Morrow, Eric V.; Payne, Daniel P.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Contemporary studies of transnationalism are challenging scholarship on the political advocacy of ethnic groups by examining a broader range of connections that shape immigrant identity and engagement with the political systems of host countries. One of these connections is the role religion has in forming new ethnoreligious identities and how this role is influenced by transnational relationships with countries of origin and external religious institutions. In many analyses of “ethnic poltics,” religion is either excluded or viewed as a cultural element closely aligned with ethnic identity. This has obscured the significant influence of religious affiliation and religious institutions in the political advocacy of immigrant groups. This dissertation examines the role of religion in Greek American advocacy and analyzes the transnational elements that have shaped Greek American identity and contributed to the engagement with the United States government on specific foreign policy issues. From a basis in theories of diaspora nationalism and transnationlism and within the larger context of Greek American advocacy, focus is placed on the development of the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in America in defining a unique ethnoreligious identity and in direct engagement with U.S. policymakers on the issues of the invasion and partition of Cyprus, the Macedonian Question, and the legal status and religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, Turkey. Following a survey of the role of the Church and its leadership in advocacy on these issues, this dissertation analyzes the elements of transnational religion in the Greek American experience in order to develop a methodology for approaching other groups in the United States. With the increase of immigrant religious affiliation and institutions in America and the diversity of engagement in both domestic and foreign policy issues, the analysis of transnational religious connections is critical to understanding identity formation and ethnoreligious lobbying, as well as gauging the impact of this advocacy on the U.S. political system.
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    A just and sacred warfare : the symbiotic relationship between American Civil Religion and the Just War Tradition.
    (2012-08-08) Mizuta, Mandi S.; Parrish, T. Michael.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Operating under the assumption that war is an inevitable necessity to define and defend a nation, how does humanity reconcile morality with the brutality of war? What is sought is a balance of the bloody battlefield with the moral mandates that make for a decent and well-ordered society and reconcile humanity to heaven. American Civil Religion has incorporated ideals in which a balance between brutality and morality can seemingly be achieved. I propose this set of principles operating as part of American Civil Religion is its own adaptation of just war ideology. Traditional notions of just war thinking have been distinctly interpreted and recapitulated in order to uphold the American identity. This study will explore the relationship between American Civil Religion and the Just War Tradition (specifically the tenets of jus ad bellum) and will examine its implications on theoretical and practical levels, with particular emphasis on the rhetoric and rationale of President George W. Bush after the attacks of September 11, 2001. It will be discovered that American Civil Religion does and must incorporate principles of just war in order to appease the overarching demands of a just and sacred warfare that thereby uphold the myths and ultimately the identity of the nation.
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    American public religion in the religion clause jurisprudences of Felix Frankfurter and Antonin Scalia.
    (2012-08-08) Meadors, David C.; Hankins, Barry, 1956-; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    The First Amendment religion clause jurisprudences of two United States Supreme Court justices--Felix Frankfurter and Antonin Scalia--find different forms of American public religion constitutional. Frankfurter's jurisprudence applied the Free Exercise Clause weakly, but the Establishment Clause strictly, as exemplified in the cases Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586 (1940) and McCollum v. Board of Education, 333 U.S. 203 (1948). Scalia, on the other hand, has interpreted both clauses with deference to government action in most cases, and this is evident in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990) and McCreary County v. ACLU, 545 U.S. 844 (2005). The originalist interpretive methodology applied by both judges to the religion clauses relies for authority upon leaders from America's founding era such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, especially in Establishment Clause cases. Yet, Frankfurter and Scalia do not cite the same founders as authority, and they do not interpret the Establishment Clause in the same manner since Frankfurter has applied it strictly whereas Scalia has applied it weakly. In addition, Scalia has defended his originalist interpretive methodology of textualism in extrajudicial sources whereas Frankfurter's rationale for the originalism he applies to the religion clauses appears in his official opinions. Moreover, Frankfurter's Free Exercise Clause opinions also defer to government action because of his arguments in favor of judicial restraint, and both judges agree that religious liberty is best protected when first cherished and protected by citizens in the democratic process before resort to judicial review. The American public religion deemed constitutional in Frankfurter's religion clause opinions is also more secular in nature in that it does not include belief in God, but elements similar to religious faith such as the secular need for a day of rest, veneration of the American flag, and an appeal to the need for unifying beliefs in society, or what Frankfurter called "cohesive sentiment." Frankfurter reasoned, however, that more specifically religious education programs in public schools were unconstitutional because they would likely create social conflict. Scalia, to the contrary, has found more specifically theistic public religious expressions such as graduation prayers and displays of the Ten Commandments constitutional. This is not only because Scalia finds these expressions of American public religion consistent with and American tradition allowing preference for monotheistic faiths in public acknowledgments of deity, but also because he argues that relatively generic prayers at graduation ceremonies will enhance religious toleration and civility.
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    Christian covenant and liberal freedom : a new approach to the modern marriage crisis.
    (2012-08-08) Holton, Kevin T.; Beckwith, Francis.; Church and State.; Baylor University. Institute of Church-State Studies.
    Today’s society is burdened by an overwhelming abundance of government regulations in what is commonly regarded as the private realm, and sizeable numbers of people of all political ideologies are scrambling to end those regulations they find offensive. Interestingly, those same would-be reformers who balk most loudly at some regulations are wholeheartedly committed to maintaining or adding to existing regulations when it suits their political agendas, indicating that people will willingly abandon their political principles when they conflict with their efforts to attain political power. To my knowledge, no one has given serious consideration to the elimination altogether of government regulation, especially in marriage law, as a means of advancing toward a more Christian standard of living. Herein, I demonstrate that the modern Christian obsession with maintaining legal exclusivity for heterosexual marriage is misguided while the secular liberal appeal for legalization of same-sex (or gender-neutral) marriage is equally ill-conceived. Instead, a libertarian approach to the formation of families is ideal for both the Christian and the secular liberal, for it allows the Church to tighten its hold on the definition of marriage and frees the individual to pursue whatever life choices she or she wishes to make. Prevention of the legal disestablishment of marriage ultimately feeds religious complacency, weakens the marriage bond, and distracts from the pursuit of holiness; it also enslaves the free individual to the capricious whims of the secular state.