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Religious tolerance in the Habsburg territories

Subsequent to Joseph II’s establishment of tolerance in the politics of religion, strategic regulation of religion became a characteristic of the Habsburg reign, although the clear dominance of and loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church was never in question. The edicts of tolerance planted a seed for a growing openness towards religious minorities, but a rights-based approach to equality was not to ensue before 1848. The uprisings of 1848 paved the way for the Basic Law of the State on the General Rights of Citizens of 21 December 1867, which grants individual civil rights and holds a provision on fundamental rights for Churches or Religious Societies recognised by the law. In 1874, the Law on the Recognition of Churches specified the procedures for the “legal recognition” of religious communities, which was first applied for the Old Catholic Church in 1877. The recognition of the Jewish community followed in 1890 and replaced previous regulations.

Source:
- Rupert Klieber, Jüdische, christliche, muslimische Lebenswelten der Donaumonarchie 1848-1918, Wien, Böhlau, 2010.
- Richard Potz, "Die Donaumonarchie als multikonfessioneller Staat", Kanon 12, 1994, 49–65.

D 21 February 2022    AAstrid Mattes AKerstin Wonisch

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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