Henri Laurent is a contemporary artist living and working in Antwerp, Belgium as a base and the rest of Europe as inspiration space and his ultimate open studio.
Separation or intertwining of church and state
Both in time and in space we find everywhere traces of intertwining of secular and religious power. Certainly in the history and landscape of the western world is mostly impossible to imagine the presence of the Christian religions. Everywhere are cathedrals and churches central to the town and village image, still and for centuries the tallest buildings and together with kappellekes Maria Grotto and crucifixes to find the way. Hundreds of street names and names of institutions such as schools and hospitals refer their turn to worship. The majority of official ceremonies testify to the interrelation between church and state. The official (!) Service provides the initiations of kings and queens, their weddings, birthdays and funerals, all lengths in the national and international media. Even the Greek government was inaugurated in 2015 orthodox, completely in accordance with the Greek Constitution!
Heads of State appear in public and in the media along with the religious rulers. The Vatican is after all a state and the pope a head of state. His visits are thus official state visits. The ecclesiastical and official spatial organization is often the same. In Belgium for instance, each province is blessed with a diocese and has both a bishop and a governor. In Brussels there is an archbishop, decades confessor and counselor of the Belgian Royal family. Especially in so-called ethical issues (divorce, gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia) the influence of the ecclesiastical authorities is publicly on display. This intense interrelation between church and state is also in countries with other religions. Mosques, temples and synagogues along with their official ceremonies are equally centrally available. It is therefore not surprising that the religions are divided in national and international conflicts and to be the driving force of justification.
In God we trust.
God save the queen
Dieu et pour la Patrie