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ERIC Number: EJ826651
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0010-4086
Religion, Education, and the State in Post-Communist Europe: Making Sense of the Diversity of New Church-State Practices
Glanzer, Perry L.
Comparative Education Review, v53 n1 p89-111 Feb 2009
The demise of the Communist Party's monopoly over education in Europe created a new dilemma for educational leaders in post-Communist states. They faced a difficult question: How should a nation-state that accepts ideological pluralism handle the difficult relationship between religion and education? As is well known, Western liberal democracies do not provide consistent answers to this question. They all reject the Soviet approach of inculcating one comprehensive secular ideology and outlawing all alternatives. All of them also allow various forms of confessional religious education at primary, secondary, and higher levels. Nonetheless, beyond these basic commonalities there exists a tremendous diversity of practice. To help understand recent developments regarding religion and education in various post-Communist European states, this article uses Stephen Monsma and J. Christopher Soper's typology to categorize past and present developments. They sort church-state relationships in Western liberal democracies into three general models or types. The application indicates that no uniform approach is developing among post-Communist countries. Nonetheless, the author argues that the application does demonstrate that Monsma and Soper's typology needs to be modified in light of the post-Communist experience. Drawing upon Nikolas Gvosdev (2000), the author suggests that a fourth type, "managed pluralism," be added to their categories. The difference between structural pluralism and managed pluralism is that countries practicing structural pluralism do not restrict nontraditional religions and open up funding to other religions as they grow and maintain a significant presence in a country. In contrast, the managed pluralist model limits funding and/or recognition to "traditional" religious groups with a long history in the country. Using this slightly modified typology can prove helpful in identifying and categorizing the wide range of approaches to religion and education that exist in post-Communist countries. In the conclusion the author discusses the implications of these approaches for policy makers and practitioners interested in the growth and strengthening of liberal democracy. (Contains 10 tables and 6 footnotes.)
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-1878; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A