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Vallási szimbólumok a közszférában és az állam szekularitása

április 22 @ 19:00 - 20:30

Religious symbols are present all around us: on state flags, emblems and official insignias, in classrooms, public offices, court rooms, in mass media, in hospitals, public transportation etc. It could be sad that wherever there are people, there is some symbol with religious roots. In Serbia, religious symbols in past three decades became an inherent part of the public space, together with religion. In this case the meaning of the term “public space” should be understood in the broadest of terms: it includes state and public institutions and all spaces outside the private sphere and inner domain of religious organizations.

According to its Constitution the Republic of Serbia is a secular state. There are at least two conceptions of secularity that coexist in Serbia. The first one interprets the constitutional secularity of the state as a strict separation of church and state, and consequently as a constraint to the presence of religious symbols in the public sphere. On the other hand, the second conception views secularity in a more benevolent light, one that does not exclude religion from the public sphere. According to this perception the separation has been understood as an opportunity for cooperation. Despite the fact that Constitutional Court upheld the second conception, the confrontation between two different attitudes still remains in the public discourse.

There are several different situations that generate ardent controversies related to the presence of religious symbols in public sphere. The first one is presence in public sphere of symbols that the most of citizens perceive as exclusively religious, such as: icons, crucifix, statues of saints etc. The second is the issue of wearing of religious symbols in public spaces, e.g. courts, educational institutions, state offices etc. The third controversy is the compatibility of the practice of construction of religious symbols and monuments in public spaces that have been financed by the government, local authorities or state owns companies with the principle of secularity. Lastly, but most importantly, there is a question whether the manifestation of religion or belief in public space is constitutional, or more precisely whether religious services and ceremonies that include the use of different religious symbols and have been performed in public or state institutions violate the principle of state secularity.

The video of the webinar lecture can be found here: 


április 22
19:00 - 20:30


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