The relationship between religion and state in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia /

Abstract

This dissertation examines the relationship between religion and state in Saudi Arabia. More than any other country in the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia is identified with Islam. It is the state religion, its source of political legitimacy, it shapes state policies and activities, and serves as the moral code of society.The findings of this study support the hypothesis that the state, because of its monopoly of force and resources, and the need to maintain autonomy, can not tolerate an autonomous religious domain that would compete with it for the loyalty of citizens. The state will extend its authority to the religious domain and utilize religious leaders and institutions to perpetuate its policies. This state will make use of religious values to strengthen its authority and legitimacy. It will not hesitate to suppress religious institutions if they challenge its authority

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