The financial crisis of the late 2000s has put the object of our study – the public funding of religious denominations – at the centre of the debate between state and churches. In fact the need of rationalisation of public expenditures has led European authorities to an effort to revise the subsidy system of religion. Our research thus intends to analyse the models of public and private funding existing in the European countries of Catholic majority where the principles of separation with cooperation, churches’ hierarchy, through special laws, and religious freedom prevail. By maximizing our empirical variable we will be able to create a more comprehensive dialogue over the funding mechanisms – financial compensations, tax exemptions or tax assignation – that the States offer directly or indirectly to churches and religious denominations. The use of the comparative matrix, between Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain, will make us reflect on the new challenges and trends placed in front of contemporary societies in the field of public funding.
|Published - 2016