State Religion/Official Religion

The terms ‘state’ or ‘official religion’, in the most general sense, are used by sociologists and religious studies scholars to designate a polity where one or more religious bodies or equivalent belief systems are supported, endorsed, or sustained by a given state, often to the exclusion of other religious bodies or ideologies. In many instances, state or official religion (hereafter, state/official religion) has historically been a source of maintaining political unity with public ritual providing a focal point for social integration and expressions of loyalty and national identity. Today, state/official religion has been increasingly superseded by the related phenomenon of civil religion.

Sociological Usage

Although state, official, or established religion has been a familiar historical, political, and legal category, it has been undertheorized in the sociology of ...

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