Religion Past and Present

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National Church
(289 words)

[German Version]

The term national church denotes a legally independent church whose membership is defined as comprising the people of a state or nation. In modern territorial states, the territory of the national church is defined by the boundaries of the country. A national church is not necessarily a structural element of the state, but it can be a state church, as has long been true of the Scandinavian churches. Historically national churches developed from resistance to the pope – outstanding examples being the Gallicanism of the French church beginning in the 13th and 14t…

Cite this page
Heun, Werner, “National Church”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_124027>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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