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Religion and State Sovereignty The influence of religion on humankind can be traced back to the first records of history Religion has served as a pillar of strength to some and binding chains to others There are vast amounts of information and anthropological studies revealing the interaction of religion and humankind However for the purposes of this paper the time periods of study will be broken up into three sections Each section will give a general description of how religion affected the institution of the state and its Sovereignty in a Euro-centric perspective The first period is the early period which will encompass from Christianity and the Roman Empire to the Medieval times approx 311 to 1100 AD The second period will include the Renaissance the Reformation to the Treaty of Westphalia 1101 to 1648 AD The third and increment of history will range from 1649 to 1945 AD The date 311 AD marks the issuing of the Edict of Toleration for Christians This date is important because it symbolizes national acceptance of Christianity and planted its roots as a political institution Later the Roman Empire on the verge of internal collapse acknowledged the importance of Christianity and used it to hold together the remnants of it former self This adoption of Christianity took form and eventually became the Catholic church The church became intermingled with politics and became a strong entity The policies delivered from the church had more authority than the local rulers and magistrates of the developing feudal system For example St Augustine wrote about war and what justified its enactment against fellow men This policy was followed and adhered to
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