Abstract

When Pope John Paul II visited Poland in 1979, he told the crowds that it was not possible to understand Poland, past and present, without recognizing the union between the Catholic Church and Poland. However, in the years since, the connection between the Polish people and the Church has changed. Is it possible that Poland, which was a center of the faith for so long, is secularizing the same way that most of the rest of Europe has? Charles Taylor in his A Secular Age has given three criteria that could indicate a country is undergoing secularization: government structures that are free of a connection to God, the larger society moving away from religious practices and beliefs, and a society for whom belief in God is considered one option among many and not necessarily the most preferred option. We look here at whether Poland currently meets these criteria. We then ultimately demonstrate that Poland, while currently experiencing a changing relationship with the Church, is not secularizing according to the standards that Taylor lays out.

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