chapter  3
17 Pages

Church and State: Nationalist Legitimation versus ‘Moral Monopoly’

This chapter focuses on the relationship between church and state and examines the extent to which the Church obstructs the modernization process. It compares the impact of the differentiation process on two cases and contrasts the emergence of Ireland's 'moral monopoly'—that is Church supremacy over the state and high level of moral and institutional control—to Greece's 'nationalist legitimation'—that is state supremacy over the Church and emphasis on nationalism. Imperial legacy and the role of the Church during that period have significantly shaped the relationship between nationalism, national identity and religion. The contrast between the two cases is sharp and illustrates why the Irish Catholic Church is significantly affected by differentiation, while the Greek Orthodox Church is not. The Oecumenical Catholic Church has the adverse relationship with the state and it is more difficult to pass legislation that opposes church doctrine. Hence, the legalization of divorce and abortion are highly controversial issues with legal and political implications.