The meaning of religion in German Constitutional Court

Maria Rosaria Piccinni

Abstract


It’s not easy to give a precise definition of the concept of religion or of what generally constitutes a religion, because of the intangible and wide-ranging nature of the topic. The principle of State neutrality has important consequences for the legal definition of religion: in a neutral State, public authority doesn’t have the power to define what can be classified as religion and religious behaviour. Generally a religion is defined as a set of beliefs and practices, usually involving acknowledgment of a divine or higher being or power, by which people order the conduct of their lives both practically and in a moral sense. German society is currently marked by religious pluralism and constitutional jurisprudence has the difficult task to identify inclusive and objective parameters in order to guarantee religious freedom.


Parole chiave


Religions; religious freedom; German Constitution; Constitutional Court; Religious pluralism

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