Skip to content. Skip to navigation
Personal tools
Sections

"ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, DEMOCRACY AND MULTIPLE MODERNITIES"

Document Actions
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology
October 4, 2002
Dr. Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Assoc. Director,
Institute on Religion and World Affairs,
Asst. Professor, Dept. of International Relations,
Boston University


The Parameters of Inquiry into Orthodoxy and Pluralism

The project of exploring the public presence of the Orthodox churches in a pluralistic world is a commendable one--one whose time is long overdue in view of recent history. The last half century has offered rich empirical evidence of a trend of desecularization, thereby calling into question longstanding assumptions equating secularity with modernity; 2 religion has played an active role, in both local and transnational terms, in events as diverse as the demise of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, cycles of communal violence in East Africa, and participation in economic development initiatives in East Asia. Meanwhile, the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States have added urgency to discussions about the extent and limits of religious activity at the global and domestic levels; claims about the incompatibilities between non-Western religions and democracy have been augmented with questions about the propensity of some religions for violence, with significant implications for reconfiguring ideas about religious human rights and the appropriate criteria for citizenship.

Against this historical backdrop, a review of the literatures on public religion and world affairs, over the past decade alone, reveals that Orthodox thinkers have been notable for their relative voicelessness in 3 the renaissance of scholarship dealing with the causes and consequences of public religion in a world where modernity is still defined in Westphalian terms. 4 More specifically, these literatures also show that Orthodoxy has belatedly engaged the global phenomenon of pluralism, 5 where pluralism implies difference, diversity, and choice.

Of course, it is important to acknowledge the theological creativity and ecumenical dimensions of what Vassilios Makrides has characterized as a "regeneration of Orthodoxy theology" 6 over the last several decades, centered around debates in Greece and Russia, but gradually incorporating voices from Orthodox populations in Southeastern Europe and the United States. Nonetheless, it is notable that the majority of this scholarship has been restricted to the domains of theology and philosophy, and has managed to provoke a systematic, inter-disciplinary inquiry into the public role of Orthodoxy under conditions of social, political, and cultural pluralism. 7 In short, while Orthodox thinkers like Emmanuel Clapsis have argued that "the challenge of reconfiguring the public role of religion reflects some continuity with the Orthodox ethos," 8 the quality and consequences of Orthodox churches’ public conversation with pluralism have been limited.

Interestingly enough, the 2002 study, Freedom in the World, conducted by the think-tank Freedom House, places Orthodoxy within a comparative global context that offers intriguing data for considering the ideational and institutional bases of Orthodoxy’s public role in a pluralistic world. A comprehensive, cross-national ranking of indicators of political freedom and civil liberties, the Freedom House survey ranks Orthodox countries 9 well within the range of countries defined as democracies, 10 thereby suggesting that Orthodoxy can exist and, possibly, thrive in conditions of pluralism that respect political freedoms and human rights. On the other hand, country-specific and comparative studies of church-state relations, as well as works on the internal transformation of Orthodox churches, present powerful evidence that the nature of Orthodoxy’s engagement with pluralism is one of discernible ambivalence. 11 In other words, the public presence of Orthodox churches in the contemporary international system indicates ambivalence by those churches about the origins of pluralism, its implications for Orthodoxy, and possible Orthodox responses to the challenges and opportunities of pluralism.

It is this demonstrated ambivalence towards pluralism that will be my preoccupation for the time that remains to me. As a political scientist, my methodological preference tends towards a case-study approach that can provide specific data for helping us to construct a general portrait of Orthodoxy’s approach to pluralism. I would also argue that, nowhere do Orthodox churches face a more direct and lively encounter with pluralism than in democratic regimes. After all, democracy privileges principles of freedom and equality, along with the right to contest the delineation and protection of diversity and difference. 12

Therefore, I want to offer an abbreviated exposition of the case of Greece, an Orthodox country according to the criteria of the Freedom House survey noted above, and a democracy according to the standard social science template. 13

The Greek case helps to elucidate general claims about Orthodoxy’s encounter with pluralism in three ways. First, the Greek case helps to specify Orthodoxy’s ambivalence towards pluralism, in the form of a gap between support for the legal-formal rights of freedom of religion and conscience, on the one hand, versus contradictions in the interpretation and application of those rights, on the other. Second, the Greek case helps to identify the historically rooted factors that confine the possibilities for Orthodox churches in their encounter with pluralism. Finally, investigation of the Greek case within the EU and international contexts offers provocative insights into the elasticity of secularity and the multiplicity of versions of modernity.

Okay, I turn to the first part of my talk, the Greek case.

The Greek Case: Nesting Pluralisms and Orthodox Exceptionalism
Orthodoxy’s encounter with pluralism in Greece has been played out in an environment of nesting pluralisms, or three levels. Domestically, democratization since 1974 has meant an expansion and reinforcement of a free, competitive public sphere in Greece. 14 By virtue of its regional geography in the Balkans, Greece has also experienced new tendencies towards ethnic, religious, and generally, demographic heterogeneity since the end of the Cold War. Simultaneously, Greece is now firmly anchored within an increasingly heterogeneous European Union (EU), and by extension, is part of the EU’s place in a globalizing system. In short, Orthodoxy’s conversation with pluralism in Greece has been played out in the country’s position in local, regional, and global dynamics of change.

Now, within this broad context, the most useful method for analyzing Orthodoxy’s engagement with pluralism in Greece is through the prism of the constitutional arrangement that regulates relations between the state and religion. The constitution, after all, establishes the absolute minimum threshold for protecting what Alfred Stepan calls the twin tolerations for religion in a sustainable democracy that is, religious freedom vis-a -vis the state and religious freedom within the public sphere of civil society. 15 Likewise, the constitution establishes the rules of the game for Orthodoxy’s conversation with diverse political, social, economic, and cultural currents in Greece.

Greece’s position within the comparative context of the EU is interesting. In fact, a review of the EU landscape reveals an impressive degree of diversity in the constitutional arrangements that regulate the relationship between religion and state. 16 For example, a sampling of EU member-states shows that, as of 1990, Greece, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (in England and Scotland, but not in Wales) had either fully or partially established churches. 17 Meanwhile, the case of Germany is that of a country without an established or prevailing church, but where both Protestantism and Catholicism are recognized as official religions (this status has important effects on citizens’ access to social services and, especially, on the provision of public and private education). 18 And finally, the Netherlands is a case of full dis-establishment of religion under the construct of legal treatment concerning religion and state 19 (which actually means that secularly based beliefs enjoy equal legal protection as religiously based beliefs, 20 so that the constitution allows for public funding for educational, cultural, and social-service activities). 21

So, Greece falls firmly within the range of EU options for regulating relations between state and religion 22 As I’ve noted, Greece has a prevailing religion model of church-state relations according to Article 3 of the Constitution (Article 3 of the Greek constitution states that the "prevailing religion in Greece is that of the Orthodox Church of Christ"). 23 Freedom of religious conscience and practice are protected in Article 13 of the Constitution, which (identifies "freedom of religious conscience as inviolable,") specifies that civil and individual rights are not dependent on an individual’s religious conscience, prohibits proselytism, and allows for freedom of worship. 24 Based on the prevailing-religion formula, religious instruction in public schools (non-denominational, secular) is mandatory for Greek Orthodox students and non-compulsory for non-Orthodox students.

Even this synoptic review of Greece and its EU partners when it comes to constitutional regulation of church-state relations shows that that Greece is not exceptional vis-Ã -vis its EU cohort. Therefore, charges of "Greek exceptionalism" on matters of religion and democracy (articulated by journalists such as Helena Smith and Takis Michas) 25 and associated arguments about Orthodoxyâ?™s incompatibility with democracy and modernity (formulated by scholars such as Samuel Huntington and William Wallace and represented by popular writers such as Victoria Clark) 26 are rendered questionable. 27

By the same token, the specifics of those arguments about Orthodoxy’s incompatibility with democracy and modernity are useful in problematizing Orthodoxy’s encounter with pluralism in the Greek case. Consideration of those constitutional articles dealing with religion in Greece raise troubling questions about the extent to which the twin tolerations of religious freedom enjoy protection in Greece. And this is a comment on Orthodoxy’s ambivalence towards ideas and practices of diversity and difference. 28

Let me offer some highlights to illustrate my point, by turning to the constitutional articles that deal with the inter-related issues of the legal personality of religions, freedom of worship, proselytism, and conscientious objector status. The constitution identifies religious freedom and associated state protection 29 with the legal condition of known religion, with additional differentiation between legal personality of public law versus private law, and practical conditions of upholding public order and morals. The application of these three articles has created legal controversy and a significant body of case law by plaintiffs charging religious discrimination against various non-Orthodox minorities in Greece (this case law exists at the domestic level and in the form of appeals by plaintiffs to the European Court of Justice, by religious groups such as Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, Mormons, and other non-Orthodox populations).

Now, what is important about this case law for purposes of pluralism is the fact that questions of legal personality affect issues of taxation, rights of association, rights to secure building permits for houses of worship, and rights of property transfer and inheritance. 30 Furthermore, the case law reflects significant interpretive latitude assigned not only to members of the judiciary, but to individuals in the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and, in some cases, to local Orthodox bishops, 31 when it comes to the execution of laws affecting religious pluralism and freedom in Greece.

Let me continue on this point by turning to the constitutional provisions that deal with proselytism and alternative forms of national military service for conscientious objectors. Regarding proselytism, the constitution imposes criteria of intentionality and method to the general prohibition against proselytism. 32 Meanwhile, the option for alternative forms of military service is absolute in its statement that religious freedom cannot prevent an individual from fulfilling his duties towards the state. In both instances, case law provides striking interpretive latitude to the judiciary in deciding petitions, and it remains unclear whether or not the proselytism prohibition applies in practice to the Orthodox Church. Likewise, improvements in the available options for alternative forms of mandatory national service remain a matter of controversy because of differencein term of service between the conventional and alternative options. 33

To sum up, disagreements over the application and interpretation of constitutional articles that regulate relations between state and religion in Greece help us to understand over-stated, if instructive, claims about Greek exceptionalism vis-Ã -vis EU norms. At the same time, a more detailed exploration of EU member states speaks to rising tensions around issues of immigration and demography as they relate to questions of religious freedom and citizenship. So, again, the notion of Greek and Orthodox exceptionalisms is rendered problematic.

But what is important from the Greek case for our purposes is the following: Orthodoxy’s ambivalent stance towards pluralism is specified in the gap between a formalistic commitment to the legal rubrics of pluralism stipulated in Greece’s constitution, versus endorsement of legal interpretations consistent with the maximum tolerance for diversity and difference in the country’s social and cultural fabric. Here, it is important to recall the environment of nesting pluralisms that I mentioned earlier, 34 because the alacrity and scope of Greece’s own pluralization helps to explain Orthodoxy’s concern that democracy and globalization may generate social disorder and national fragmentation. 35

By way of concluding this review of the Greek case, I want to emphasize that there is ample evidence that Orthodox thinkers and actors in Greece understand the need to engage in a conversation about pluralism as it affects democracy. Indeed, this very conversation has emerged as a leitmotif in almost three decades of democratic public life, with a continuous discussion about the reconfiguration of church-state relations since 1974, 36 in legislative changes made to Greek Family Law in the 1980s, in post-Cold War efforts to develop a systematic immigration law for Greece, and in the public controversy in 2000 surrounding the government’s decision to remove religious affiliation from Greece’s national identity cards.



Confining Conditions in Orthodoxy’s Ambivalence Towards Pluralism

Now, turning to the second part of my talk, I want to consider the possible origins of Orthodoxy’s ambivalence towards pluralism, based on data from the Greek case and the broader Orthodox world. Otto Kirscheimer’s notion of confining conditions and revolutionary breakthroughs 37 offers an especially useful way of thinking about the origins of Orthodoxy’s ambivalent, and sometimes defensive, encounter with pluralism. Using Kirscheimer’s formulation, we can see that the legacy of Orthodoxy’s historical trajectory has produced confining conditions, in the form of identifiable institutional patterns of ecclesiastical behavior and religio-cultural views of the nation-state, both of which inform Orthodoxy’s ambivalence towards pluralism. 38

The first and most obvious confining condition is the historical fact that Orthodox churches have evolved in political contexts that have been largely non-democratic. 39 After all, prolonged experiences for Orthodoxy with pluralism in democratic contexts has been largely limited to post-1974 Greece, as well as Orthodox diasporas in Europe, the Americas, and Australia. This historical record has meant that Orthodoxy’s conversations within and about pluralism have been prohibited and restricted and, in many cases, would have been a threat to survival. In this respect, history helps to explain Orthodoxy’s defensiveness and, at times, pessimism about the implications of pluralism.

The second confining condition follows logically from the historical endurance test of Orthodoxy in non-democratic contexts. Specifically, history has generated important institutional dysfunctionalities in the form of excessive hierarchical control, clerical passivity, and lay indifference. Historical arrangements of church-state relations in non-democratic contexts have meant that constitutional reconfigurations in favor of pluralism imply changes in the balance of political power and economic privileges of Orthodox actors within the church and the state, and likewise imply shifts in the sources of legitimacy for states now struggling to meet the expectations of a democratic citizenry. In short, the kind of pluralism that is part of democracy demands standards of accountability and expectations of behavior that radically alter existing power structures and distribution of material and symbolic capital for both states and churches in Orthodox countries.

The third confining condition derives from the previous two, namely, the fact that history has produced a fear of competition amongst Orthodox actors. This competition anxiety is related to considerations about the competitive assets that Orthodoxy can bring to bear in the processes of democratization and globalization. Local and regional contests over democracy and transnational contests over global positions of power have created a highly competitive, diverse, free market for religion since the end of the 20th century. Insofar as pluralism implies and generates competition, the ambivalent engagement of Orthodox actors in the global religious marketplace is rooted in a negative evaluation of their competitive assets. These assets include theological ideas, financial resources, institutional networks, and human capital, and in the view of some Orthodox actors (as in Orthodox responses to the Vatican’s claims about Uniate churches in Eastern and Central Europe, to Protestant missionizing in Russia, or to EU requirements for national identity cards), history has weakened the Orthodox churches’ asset portfolio.



Revolutionary Breakthroughs and Orthodoxy’s Exit from Ambivalence

Let me turn to the third and final section of my talk. By way of conclusion, I want to suggest that there are intriguing signs of what Kirscheimer calls a revolutionary breakthrough in Orthodoxy’s encounter with pluralism in the third millennium. These indications speak to the dynamic of change within the very confining conditions that I’ve just noted, but more importantly, are embedded in the capacity of Orthodox thinkers and actors to reconceptualize their views on modernity in a manner that would allow for a confident engagement with pluralism that is consistent with Orthodox theology and ecclesiology.

The first signs of possibility for a revolutionary breakthrough are illustrated by a return to the Greek case. As I noted earlier, the democratization process in Greece has both generated and been enriched by a range of debates dealing with the appropriate parameters for religion in the public sphere. The very substance of these debates, then, must be acknowledged and appreciated as what Arcbishop Demetrios referred to last night as a performative speech act” that is, as the very creation of pluralism through the act of the conversation about pluralism in Greece. (Exemplifying the inquiry into pluralism are debates by social scientists and philosophers such as Kostas Vergopoulos and Christos Yannaras, on Orthodoxy and globalization; critiques of the cultural consequences of Western Christianity by neo-Orthodox thinkers, including theologians such as Panayiotis Nellas and artists such as Dionysis Savvopoulos; 40 and arguments by legal scholars such as Ioannis Konidaris and Christos Rozakis about the church-state arrangement as a source of conflation of religious identity and citizenship.) 41 Indeed, the impressive scope of participants in such discussions reflects the pluralism of the Orthodox Church in Greece and of Greece as an Orthodox country: representatives of the official Church of Greece, as well as academics, public intellectuals, and artists, have situated themselves and their views within the existential space of Orthodoxy. Finally, insofar as these individuals have dialogued in the name of Orthodoxy, with political elites and public officials acting in the name of the state and the electorate, the Greek case reflects the capacity of the Church, writ large, to engage in and create pluralist discourse and processes.

In short, the Greek case is one amongst many that speaks to an emergent momentum, or a positive embrace, if you will, of both as idea and practice, from within Orthodoxy. Furthermore, the Greek case demonstrates the creative energy and practical innovation rooted in Orthodox theology, as debates on church-state relations have incorporated ideas from Trinitarian theology, Christology, systematic theology, and patristics. What remains to be seen is whether or not those actors who are driving the internal transformation of Orthodoxy will be willing to implicate themselves as full, self-conscious participants in the benefits and challenges of pluralism in the world as a whole.

The second indication of the possibilities for a radical reorientation in Orthodoxy’s approach to pluralism also depends on the self-awareness and focus of Orthodox thinkers and actors. Specifically, they need to escape the limitations of what many scholars view as historically outmoded and empirically invalidated thinking about the meaning of modernity. Orthodox theorists and policymakers need to consider the notion of multiple modernities as conceptual framework and applied option that can radically alter Orthodoxy’s conception of and responses to contemporary pluralism.

The construct of multiple modernities has emerged relatively recently in the scholarly literature. The origins of the term lie in the scholarly critique of classical social science propositions that equated modernity with secularity and, in turn, distilled modernity into definitively Western political, economic, and cultural prototypes. Theorists such as Schmuel Eisenstadt and Stephen Graubard claim that empirical evidence supports the notion of plural, or multiple representations of modernity. While these multiple modernities share "a common core" 42 of economic, political, and cultural features informed by contestation and choice, the content of particular forms of the modern evolves through the dynamic resolution of internal tensions, as well as through engagement with and borrowing from competing versions of modernity. 43

I would argue that there are numerous indications from around the Orthodox world of an intuitive affinity with the concept of multiple modernities. For example, in the American context, discussions about intra-Orthodox jurisdictional unity are inextricably linked to the notion of an indigenous, American form of Orthodox Christianity; in the Greek context, debates about Europeanization are linked to the problematic of Greek identity as a blend of Hellenism and Orthodoxy; and in Russia, inquiry into Orthodoxy’s jurisdictional structure and values are linked to questions about the sources of unity in post-communist, national identity. In all these cases, Orthodox thinkers and actors are drawing, both consciously and unconsciously, on the theological resources of the faith, with the hope of realizing what Richard Falk has called an affirmation of universality simultaneous with a respect for particularities. 44

In short, the demonstrated tendencies towards internal pluralization, along with the identifiable affinity between Orthodoxy’s global evolution and the concept of multiple modernities, hold rich possibilities for Orthodoxy’s exit from ambivalence vis-a-vis pluralism. The choice for revolutionary change versus static ambivalence will depend on the willingness of Orthodox churches to remain faithful to the Trinitarian concept of pluralism at the center of the Orthodox theological imagination.

  1. This is a working draft, presented orally at the Conference on Orthodox Churches in a Pluralistic World, held at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA from 2-5 October. As a working draft and oral presentation, the citations are not fully completed.
  2. Add studies of Desecularization. Discussions in popular literature include "Oh, Gods!" in The Atlantic, Volume 298, No. 2 (February 2002): 37-45.
  3. See notes three and five for details that elucidate this claim.
  4. For a superb treatment of the equation of modernity and, more specifically, assumptions about the secular nature of modernity, with the system of international relations introduced at the peace conference at Westphalia in 1678, see Daniel Philpott, Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001). Philpottâ?™s arguments are usefully read in contradistinction to works on the possible need to transform the Westphalian system, such as the work by Gene M. Lyons and Michael Mastanduno, eds., Beyond Westphalia? State Sovereignty and International Intervention (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), as well as in conversation with widely read, highly theorized, critiques of the classical secularization thesis, including the following: Peter L. Berger, The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdsman Publishing Company, 1999); Jose Casanova, Public Religions in the Modern World (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1994), Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and James Piscatori, eds., Transnational Religion and Fading States (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1997), and William H. Swatos, ed., A Future for Religion: New Paradigms for Social Analysis (London, England: Sage Publications, 1992). In the previous list of representative debates on the survival and/or revival of religion in late 20th century world affairs, Orthodox Christianity is absent, whether in terms of contributions from Orthodox thinkers or as object of analysis and potential theoretical utility.
  5. According to Merriam-Webster Online, pluralism is defined in the following terms: 1 : the holding of two or more offices or positions (as benefices) at the same time 2 : the quality or state of being plural 3 a : a theory that there are more than one or more than two kinds of ultimate reality b : a theory that reality is composed of a plurality of entities 4 a : a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain an autonomous participation in and development of their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization b : a concept, doctrine, or policy advocating this state. See http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary.
  6. Vassilios N. Makrides, "Byzantium in Contemporary Greece: the Neo-Orthodox Current of Ideas," in David Ricks and Paul Badalino, eds., Byzantium and the Modern Greek Identity (London, England: Ashgate Publishing Company, 1998): 142. Leading thinkers in the revival of Orthodox studies and, more generally, in the aggiornamento of Orthodox theology include Greek Orthodox thinkers such as John Romanides, Nikos Nisiotis, Savvas Agourides, and Stelios Ramfos, as well as Russian Orthodox thinkers such as John Meyendorff, Vladimir Lossky, Alexander Schmemman, and Alexander Menn.
  7. A useful note on the lack of systematic social and political theory from an Orthodox perspective is provided by Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Emperors and Elections: Reconciling the Orthodox Tradition with Modern Politics (Huntington, NY: Troitsa Books, 2000).
  8. Emmanual Clapsis, Orthodoxy in Conversation (Geneva, Switzerland: World Council of Churches Publications, 2000): 136.
  9. According to the survey, Orthodox countries are those which lie in the historic heartland of Orthodoxy” the Byzantine Commonwealth (site Obelenski)”and are those where any one or a combination of the following features obtain: Orthodox Christians form a majority of the population, Orthodoxy is legally identified as the state religion, Orthodoxy has exercised a formative role on the political and cultural development of the country, an Orthodox Christians play a key role in social and governmental affairs. For a discussion of the designation within the context of a larger evaluation of the Freedom House results, see Nikolas K. Gvosdev, "Orthodoxy and Freedom: the Global Picture, 2002," in Orthodox News, www.orthodoxnews.com.
  10. According to the study, 80% of Orthodox countries ranked as free or partly free, which is well within the norm for the overall global record, which identifies 75%% of the world’s countries as free or partly free. See Gvosdev, "Orthodoxy and Freedom:" 1.
  11. Representative works that speak to the ambivalent posture of Orthodox thinkers and, in the Freedom House formulation, Orthodox countries vis-à-vis pluralism, see Dimitris Christopoulos, ed., Nomika Zitimata Thriskeutikis Eterortitas stin Ellada (Athens, Greece: Center for Research on Minority Groups), 1999; Mient Jan Faber, ed., The Balkans: A Religious Backyard of Europe (Ravenna, Italy: Longo Press, 1995); Gvosdev, Emperors and Elections.
  12. The literature on the pluralist qualities and possibilities of democratic regimes is enormous and highly contentious. For an excellent compendium of the debates on democracy and pluralism, see Seyla Benhabib, ed., Democracy and Difference: Contesting the Boundaries of the Political (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), Will Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1995), and Chantal Mouffe, ed., Dimensions of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship, Community (London, England: Verso, 1992).
  13. The definition of democracy remains a vexing theoretical task and practical challenge. For representative discussions on the procedural minima on which most scholars of democratic theory concur, see Robert A. Dahl, Democracy and its Critics (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989), David Held, Models of Democracy (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1987), Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman, OKL: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), Gary Marks and Larry Diamond, eds., Reexamining Democracy: Essays in Honor of Seymour Martin Lipset (London, England: Sage Publications, 1992). Well developed discussions about the taxonomy of phases of democratization are available in Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, and Hans-Jurgen Puhle, eds., The Politics of Democratic Consolidation: Southern Europe in Comparative Perspective (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995) and Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, eds., Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).
  14. Greece’s democratization project began with the transition from authoritarianism in 1974, and has continued with successful consolidation in the 1980s into the persistence of democracy. For a representative and comparative discussion of the qualitative preoccupations of the persistence phase of democratization in Greece, see Gunther, Diamandouros, and Puhle, eds., The Politics of Democratic Consolidation.
  15. For a compelling exploration of the centrality of the twin tolerations with regard to the role of religion in democratic regimes, see Alfred Stepan, "Religion, Democracy, and the ˜Twin Tolerations," Journal of Democracy Volume 11, Number 4 (October 2000). He argues that sustainable democracy requires the establishment and consistent protection by constitutional and legal methods of twin tolerations, which are as follows: first, "religious institutions should not have constitutionally privileged prerogatives that allow them to mandate public policy to democratically elected governments," and second, "at the same time, individuals and religious communities...must have complete freedom to worship privately[, as well as]...to advance their values publicly in civil society[,...as long as their actions do not impinge negatively on the liberties of other citizens or violate democracy and the law." See ibid: 39-40.
  16. Useful treatments of the pluralism in EU approaches to the regulation of relations between the state and religion are offered by Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper, The Challenge of Pluralism: Church and State in Five Democracies, and W. Cole Durham, "Perspectives on Religious Liberty: A Comparative Framework," in Johan D. van der Vyver and John Witte, Jr., eds., Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives (The Hague, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publisers, 1996).
  17. For example, in the case of the Church of England, what Monsma and Soper term a partial establishment model is build on a "...cultural assumption that religion has a public function to perform...[so that]...it is appropriate for the state and church to cooperate in achieving common goals. Monsam and Soper: 121. Similar assumptions run inform the rights and functions accorded to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. In both cases, the church carries out coronations "...and all other state functions where payer or religious excercises may be required and the Church of England is the only religious body with reserved seats in the House of Lords. Ibid: 129.
  18. The German models means that German citizens seeking access to sacramental, educational, and in some cases, social service benefits from these two churches must accept to pay a nine percent surcharge "on their tax bill in the form of a Church tax and thereby become a member of the church." See Alfred Stepan, "Religion, Democracy, and the ˜Twin Tolerations," Journal of Democracy Volume 11, Number 4 (October 2000): 41. Germany has four types of schools at the kindergarten-through-twelve level: inter-denominational Christian, Catholic of Protestant confessional public schools, secular (i.e. non-denominational) public schools, and private confessional schools. This typology is consistent with Article 7, Section 3 of Germanyâ’s constitution, which declares that religious instruction shall be part of the curriculum in state schools, except for secular (i.e. non-denominational) schools, and which allows that churches, rather than the state, control the content of the religious curriculum and parents determine of which classes their children will take.
  19. For an excellent, readable treatment of the equal treatment approach to regulation of state-religion relations, see Stephen V. Monsma and J. Christopher Soper, eds., Equal Treatment of Religion in a Pluralistic Society (Cambridge, England: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998).
  20. The Dutch constitution was revised in 1983 in line with the concept of equal treatment. See Monsma and Soper: 63.
  21. The Dutch approach to religious dis-establishment has developed the relationship between religion and the state in a manner consistent with the pillarized consociational structures of the country’s democracy. Based on the country’s historical experience, the four pillars in the Netherlands are Reformed, Catholic, socialist, and neutral (liberal).
  22. An thoughtful exploration of claims of Greek exceptionalism vis-à-vis its EU cohort on the basis of the country’s model of church-state relations is provided by Nikos C. Alivizatos, Á New Role for the Greek Church?" in Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 17 (1999): 23-40).
  23. There is a serious debate over the interpretation of the term prevailing religion in Greece, although amongst the four major interpretations now part of the battle of the jurisprudents, the most commonly accepted is that the prevailing religion is that which represents the overwhelming majority of the population. Precise numbers on the portion of the country’s population that is Greek Orthodox range are difficult to obtain, with disagreements deriving from problems in identifying citizens and permanent residents, inaccuracies in and lack of consensus over counting criteria, and treatment of nominal and secular (lapsed) Orthodox Christians. Most reliable sources agree that between 94% to 97% of the population identify, at least nominally, with the Orthodox Christian faith. See http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2001/5653.htm for the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report (2001) for Greece. Give some sources “EU, OSCE, Church of Greece, udsman. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2001/index.cfm?docid=5653. Get in touch w/Nikiforos contact and the guy at the EPETH for numbers and sources. For a very useful summary of the competing interpretations of prevailing religion, see Kyriazopoulos: 524-529.Kyriakos N. Kyriazopoulos, "The Prevailing Religion in Greece: Its Meaning and Implications," Journal of Church and State, Volume 43, Number 3 (Summer 2001): 511.
  24. Kyriazopoulos: 512.
  25. See Helena Smith, New Statesman, "The Ayatollah Replaces Zorba" (21August 2000) and Takis Michas, Wall Street Journal of Europe (23 October 2001).
  26. The works by Huntington,Wallace, and Clark are representative of a broader collection of social science literature and popular writings that use Greece as evidence of Orthodoxyâ?™s intrinsic incompatibility with democracy and modernity. For paradigmatic works, as well as useful bibliographic resources, see Samuel Huntington, INSERT TWO Foreign Affairs articles; Victoria Clark, Why Angels Fall: A Journey Through Orthodox Europe From Byzantium to Kosovo (New York, NY: St. Martinâ?™s Press, 2000); and William Wallace, "From Twelve to Twenty Four? The Challenges to The EC Posed by the Revolutions in Eastern Europe," in Colin Crouch and David Marquand, eds., Towards Greater Europe? A Continent Without an Iron Curtain (Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1992).
  27. Stepan: 54.
  28. Debates in Greece about reconfigurations in the country’s model of church-state relations underscore the ambiguities in the legal-formal protection of religious freedom associated with democracy and, more broadly, with the broad collection of religious beliefs and conduct associated with the still evolving notion of religious human rights. Excellent discussions of the conceptual and methodological challenges associated with the definition and study of religious human rights can be found in, respectively, Durham, "Perspectives on Religious Liberty," and David Little, "Studying Religious Human Rights: Methodological Foundations," in Van der Vyver and Witte, eds.
  29. The full text of the Greek constitution is available on http://www.mfa.gr/syntagma. See (Article 3, Section 2, and Article 3, Section 4, and Article 13, Section 2, and Article 13, Section 4. Readable discussions of issues of religious freedom as related to democracy in Greece are those by Christos L. Rozakis, "The International Protection of Minorities," and Stephanos Stavros, "Citizenship and the Protection of Minorities," in Kevin Featherstone and Kostas Ifantis, eds., Greece in a Changing Europe: Between European Integration and Balkan Disintegration (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1996).
  30. For a useful, if highly synoptic review, of the inter-relatedness of these issues, see Nicos C. Alivizatos, "A New Role for the Greek Church?" in Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 17 (1999): 23-40.
  31. See ibid.
  32. Although the constitution provision against proselytism apparently includes the established religion, critics have charged that the Church of Greece is able to proselytize in many indirect forms, including through public education; religious education in public schools is available to (and compulsory for) only Orthodox students. See ibid: 27-30. The interpretation and application of the constitutional provision against proselytism have brought rulings against Greece by the European Court of Human Rights, which has found Greece in contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR); Greece is a signatory to both documents.
  33. Case law continues to be made on the issue of mandatory national military service since a law for alternative options was passed in 1998. That law provided that, in lieu of national military service, conscientious objectors could work in state hospitals or municipal services for 36 months. However, challenges have been brought to the courts by conscientious objectors arguing that the term of the alternative form of service is both onerous and discriminatory in comparison to the 18-month period for standard military service. For more details, see State Department Report on International Religious Freedom: 5.
  34. Orthodoxy’s encounter with pluralism in the Greek case is nested in the interaction of the local, regional, and global levels.
  35. Indicative of this perspective is the view of the Moral Regeneration of the Fatherland, a group of Russian Orthodox lay and clerical actors who counselled then-Acting President Vladimir Putin that "Pluralism more and more is coming to mean the equality of good and evil and freedom has violently twisted modesty, reason, and conscience." Pravooslavie (Februardy 24, 2000), archived at www.orthodoxnews.com/stories/STET3042000101547.shtml. Quoted in Nikolas K. Gvosdev, "The New Party Card? Orthodoxy and the Search for Post-Soviet Russian Identity," in Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 47, No. 6 (November/December 2000): 29-38. There are objective factors that help to understand this perspective on the potential disorder inherent with pluralist democracy, given that Orthodox countries, in Eastern Europe and Russia that are still engaged in the consolidation of democracy, have experienced marked increases in levels of prostitution, as well as traffic in humans, drugs, and arms, oftentimes in tandem with intensive economic inequities and associated social strife driven by unregulated free market capitalism.
  36. The church-state debate was joined in the process of drafting the 1975 Constitution, the country’s first constitution in the post-authoritarian period, and has gone through phases of ebb and flow.
  37. See Otto Kircheimer, "Confining Conditions and Revolutionary Breakthroughs," in American Political Science Review, Vol. 59, (Dec. 1965): 964-74. See also Hirshman, Lipset, Pridham. Falk?
  38. For an especially critical and pessimistic interpretation of the confining conditions rooted in Orthodoxy’s historical evolution, see Michael Radu, "Religion in World Affairs: The Burden of Eastern Orthodoxy," in Journal of International Affairs, Vol. X., No. X (Winter 1997): . GET FULL CITATION.
  39. Emblematic of this historical reality is the period of Ottoman captivity, the communist interregnum in the European Orthodox contexts, and the contemporary status of in most cases, either endangered or oppressed Orthodox minorities in authoritarian contexts like Turkey, the Middle East, and East Africa.
  40. For a summary of the origins, application, and analytic utility of the term neo-Orthodox, see Makrides, "Byzantium in Contemporary Greece."
  41. See Ioannis Konidaris, "Legal Status of Minority Churches and Religious Minorities in Greece," offprint from the European Consortium for Church-State Research, in The Legal Status of Religious Miniorities in the Countries of the European Union (Thessaloniki: Sakkoulas, 1994), and Rozakis, "The International Protection."
  42. Note Graubard and Eisenstadt pieces in Daedalus, Vol. 129, No. 1 (Winter 2000).
  43. Useful discussions of the dynamic of resolving internal tensions, or the quality of self-correction, in multiple forms of the modern, are found in Nilufer Gole, "Snapshots of Islamic Modernities," Daedalus, and Robert W. Hefner, "Multiple Modernities: Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism in a Globalizing Age," Annual Review of Anthropology 27 (1998).
  44. Richard Falk, public lecture on "Globalization and Religion," at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and The Boston Theological Institute (Brookline, MA: 2 October 2002).