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Mediatizing Secular State

Media, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Poland


Damian Guzek

The book provides an empirically based analysis of changes on how various political and denominational actors seek to influence the Church and state relationship, as well as how we understand the idea of the secular state. A set of case studies shows how and why changes in the coverage of the secular state and Church-state relations have followed the dynamics of media logic. By establishing a grounded theory based on media content, legal regulations and political party programs in the years 1989–2015 as well as a current survey, the author throws new light on the theory of mediatization. The book demonstrates that the disseminated idea of the secular state is largely a result of the adaptation of both political and religious representatives to a dynamically changing media logic.

 "The book is the first study of this kind showing the Polish perspective. It is an interesting and important source of information for those who want to trace the media picture of relations between the Polish state and the institution of the Roman Catholic Church, representing the largest religious community in Poland."

Professor Dorota Piontek, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań

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3 Mediatization of religion and politics


So far, we have presented issues related to the general theory of mediatization. In the third chapter, we will introduce the mediatization of religion and the mediatization of politics as specific fields for a subsequent analysis of the idea of a secular state and the Church-state relationship. The research on the literature on mediatization of religion and the mediatization of politics is proceeding in autonomic directions. It reveals the specifics and separate achievements of both areas of research. Given these differences, we discuss each area separately. In the first part, we recall key phenomena related to the progressing mediatization of the religious sphere and emphasize the appropriation of media logic within the agency of representatives of religion. In the next part, we address the problem of mediatization in relation to politics. We point to the possibilities of shaping this relationship on the one hand in the scientific literature based on media dominance, and on the other hand from the perspective of media politics. Applying theoretical solutions in the mediatization of religion and the mediatization of politics, we consider the problem of mediatization according to the idea of a secular state in the broad context of social change exerted by changes in the media and communication.

3.1 Designating mediatization of religion

Mediatization as a double-sided process (Hjarvard, 2012b) follows two basic directions of development. First of all, the media have gained relative autonomy in comparison to other social institutions such as education or religion. Second,...

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