12 Pages

Conclusion: Patterns of Secularization

The proposition that nationalism places a break on secularization in societies where the Church serves as carrier of national identity provides helpful insights for the understanding of cases such as Greece and the Republic of Ireland. Historical and cultural specificities have allowed for a powerful political church whose role is legitimized and endorsed by the vast majority of the population. To briefly recapitulate, this chapter identifies two patterns of secularization in cultural defence cases: confrontation, characterized by a high degree of obstruction of the modernization process and low external threat perceptions; and co-optation, characterized by a low degree of church obstruction of the modernization process and high external threat perceptions. Secularization is more likely in confrontation. The incorporation of additional variables to the model points to new angles and opens up directions for future research aiming towards the establishment of a more general theory and a contribution to the debate on the contemporary relationship between national identity, religion and politics.