Report: Seminar “Secularization, Religion, State” Session 5

26 June, 2008 HANEDA Masashi, SAWAI Kazuaki, Secularization, Religion, State

The fifth session of the Seminar “Secularization, Religion, State” was held on June 16th. In this session,

Participants read Religion vs. State (Japan, Tokyo, Kodansha, 2007) by Youko Kudo together with the writer herself. We discussed some issues on state, religion and secularization, focusing on the situation in France.

At first, one of the participants addressed a question about the origin of the term laïcité. Prof. KUDO answered that it dates back to 1887 in France, but the term laïc was used by Martin Luther (1483-1546) in his Reformation movement.

Prof. KUDO insists that the Concordat of 1801 between Napoleon and Pope Pius VII head for the opposite direction from the aim of laïcité in her book. But, some participants pointed out that the Concordat of 1801 had also the same aspect as laïcité, in such a meaning that a political power intends to control religion.

Moreover, it was very interesting that Prof. KUDO said laïcité was a kind of instrument to keep a republican form of government in France. For example, in case of the headscarf issue aggravated in the beginning of this century, the Stasi committee was summoned to give a clear answer on the issue. As a result, the headscarf ban was established in 2004. At that time, the discussion often returned to the the laïcité law in 1905 and always tried to reconfirm its meaning.

We could sufficiently discuss the relations between state and religion, focusing on France in this session. It was a significant opportunity for us in preparation for the seminar of Prof. Jean Baubérot planned in early winter of this year.

Reported by Kazuaki SAWAI

  • HOME>
    • Blog>
      • Report: Seminar “Secularization, Religion, State” Session 5
//Page Top