Vlas on Religious Freedom in Romania

Natalia Vlas (Babes-Bolyai University)  has posted The Law on Religious Freedom: An Expression of Romanian Democracy? . The abstract follows.

This paper aims to analyze the place of religion in the Romanian society and politics, by focusing specifically on the process of readjusting religious freedom in Romania after 1990. Although the regulation of religious life in accordance with international human rights principles was considered one of the cornerstones of the Romanian democracy, the replacement of the communist legal framework with a new one took more than 17 years and was accompanied by numerous tensions among the religious actors themselves, state institutions and civil society organizations. The analysis of the state of religious freedom two decades after the fall of the communism in Romania reveals ambivalent developments. Despite some undeniable signs of progress, there are still significant areas that require improvement. The most problematic aspects are the maintenance of the two-tier system and the financial dependence of the culte on the state.

Romocea, “Church and State”

Last month, Bloomsbury Publishing published Church and State: Religious Nationalism and State Identification in Post-Communist Romania by Cristian Romocea (Evandeoski Teoloski Fakultet Osijek, Croatia). The publisher’s description follows.Church and State

Twenty years have passed since the fall of the Iron Curtain, yet emerging democracies continue to struggle with a secular state which does not give preference to churches as major political players. This book explores the nationalist inclinations of an Eastern Orthodox Church as it interacts with a politically immature yet decisively democratic Eastern European state. Discussing the birth pangs of extreme nationalist movements of the twentieth century, it offers a creative retelling of the ideological idiosyncrasies which have characterized Marxist Communism and Nazism. Cristian Romocea provides a constant juxtaposition of the ideological movements as they interacted and affected organized religion, at times seeking to remove it, assimilate it or even imitate it. Of interest to historians, theologians and politicians, this book introduces the reader, through a case study of Romania, to relevant and contemporary challenges churches worldwide are facing in a context characterized by increased secularization of the state and radicalization of religion.

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