Legal Rules and Regulatory Concepts for the Use of Information Technology in Ecclesiastical Law and the Law of the Relations between State and Church in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany

The project "Legal Rules and Regulatory Concepts for the Use of Information Technology in Ecclesiastical Law and the Law of the Relations between State and Church in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany" is intended to (1) identify existing legal regulations and regulatory approaches to church usage of information and communications technology (ICT) that have been issued by the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

It also aims to (2) examine the extent to which and in what ways the usage of ICT is subject to legal regulations in the law governing the relationship between church and state in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The project will also (3) examine the legal doctrines that have been developed to justify and explain these rules, and how this development takes place.

In addition, the project aims to (4) reveal underlying ideas about "digital church action," as it could be called here, in terms of their relation to the general understanding of church identities and especially the role of church doctrine.

Moreover, the project (5) asks how and to what extent these rules also reveal societal ideas about the position of the church and what church action is desired in societies in the transition to digitalization. Ideally, the project will also (6) be able to support rule-makers, both ecclesiastical and secular, with expertise, material and conceptual advice.