By the end of 18th century, the more than thousand years long coexistence of the state and the church became somewhat less self-evident.
The processes of dynamic modernisation of the society are accompanied by secularisation in this period, which means that the church is expulsed form the public space and radically deprived of its power and influence.
The church reacts by refusing modernity en bloc, withdrawal from the outer world (mentality of a besieged fortress), or – on the other side – loss of its identity.
The search for a new role of the church is accompanied by misunderstandings and conflicts on both sides.
Today’s position of the church and religion in the European society can be well explained if we understand the history of the complex relations between the church, the state and the society of 18th, 19th and 20th century.