Monarchy, religion and the state

Civil religion in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth

By Norman Bonney

Monarchy, religion and the state


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8987-9
  • Pages: 192
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: October 2013
  • BIC Category: Politics, Politics & government, RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State, POLITICAL SCIENCE / General, Humanities / Religion & politics, Society & social sciences / Politics & government


This most thorough and contemporary examination of the religious features of the UK state and its monarchy argues that the long reign of Elizabeth has led to a widespread lack of awareness of the centuries old religious features of the state that are revealed at the accession and coronation of a new monarch. It is suggested that the next succession to the throne will require major national debates in each realm of the monarch to judge whether the traditional rituals which require professions of Christianity and Protestantism by the new monarch are appropriate, or whether they might be replaced by alternative secular or interfaith ceremonies.

It will be required reading for those who study the government and politics of the UK, Canada, Australia and the other 13 realms of the monarch. It will also appeal to as well as students and lecturers in history, sociology and religious studies and citizens interested in the monarchy and contemporary religious issues.


'This timely book will appeal to a wide range of students of British and Commonwealth constitutional politics and of religion and the state. It cannot now be very many years before a new monarch is proclaimed and crowned, in a Britain and Commonwealth very different from what they were when the present Queen ascended the throne. Decisions will have to be made about the rituals which will accompany that event. Bonney shows that those decisions - which rituals are retained, which reshaped, which quietly or not so quietly dropped - will say much about who we are and about who we are supposed to be.'
Andrew Connell, Political Studies Review, May 2016


1. Secularisation, religion and the state
2. The evolution of the accession and coronation oaths
3. The installation and potential power of a new sovereign
4. What a day for England! The coronation of 1953
5. Parliamentary devolution, church establishment and new UK state religion
6. The next coronation: civil religion in the making
7. UK state Anglican multi-faithism and the Protestant monarchy
8. Monarchy and religion in Canada, Australia and the other realms
9. References


Norman Bonney is Emeritus Professor at Edinburgh Napier University

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