Church, Religious Institutions, the State, and Schooling

  • Rosa Bruno-JofréEmail author
  • Carlos Martínez Valle
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


This chapter provides a longue durée historical synthesis of the interactions between religious institutions and governments in the development of schooling in the Western world, and to some extent in the Islamic world, and also engages with related explanatory theories. The complexity and extension of the theme requires using comprehensive sociological paradigms, such as that of neo-institutionalism, to explain the expansion of mass schooling. Historiographical paradigms, such as confessionalization (Reinhard 1997), open ways to interpret interactions between churches and states in early modernity. Also, historical concepts such as governmentality (Foucault 2000, p. 202) are useful for unveiling school functions and the development of the schooled subject, while the concept of secularization, also problematized in this chapter, is a tool for examining transfers of the sacred to the secular and intertwined political agendas. The analysis pays particular attention to context and cultural and social processes, as well as processes of differentiation that affected not only the state but the churches themselves.


Catholic Church Protestant churches Islam Mass schooling Secularization 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Universidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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