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Author: Maria Marczewska–Rytko
Year of publication: 2009
Source: Show
Pages: 90-103
DOI Address: http://dx.doi.org/10.15804/ppsy2009007
PDF: ppsy/38/ppsy2009007.pdf

Introductorily, it should be observed that the discussed problem’s significance is increasingly pressing as our interest drifts towards societies dominated by great, universalizing religions Islam being only one of them. From the above, a question arises of whether the notions of religion and democracy, as mentioned in the title, are reconcilable within a single order in the first place. In his deliberations, Bohdan Chwedeńczyk inclines to the view that three types of relations may be distinguished in this respect: religion favours democracy; is indifferent to democracy; or is harmful to democracy. The discussion of the above opinion has, respectively, developed threefold. In one point of view, religion is by nature contradictory to the democratic order, it is in a sense its direct opposite. In other words, we face a choice of opting either for religion or democracy. Supporters of an alternative viewpoint claim that in the long run, a democratic system is not viable without the basis of notions such as religion, and therefore religion does play a vital part in the social order. It serves members of the public by satisfying those of their needs that do not belong to the scope of duties performed by the state and its institutions. Finally, the third approach basically acknowledges the fact that no definitive claims can be made as to the possibility of agreement between religion and democracy. I must admit that the latter is closest to my personal stance in this respect. Naturally, through careful selection of examples, arguments to support the first or the second of the mentioned opinions can be easily produced. There have been numerous examples of academic and journalistic articles advocating one of the clear-cut standpoints, which seem not to leave much room for discussion. However, the issue becomes far more multifarious when taking into account the complexity of religious and political issues analysed in both theoretical and practical perspective.

 

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