Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe

Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe

EDITED BY Lucian N. Leustean
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 288
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    Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe
    Book Description:

    Nation-building processes in the Orthodox commonwealth brought together political institutions and religious communities in their shared aims of achieving national sovereignty. Chronicling how the churches of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia acquired independence from the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the wake of the Ottoman Empire's decline, Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe examines the role of Orthodox churches in the construction of national identities. Drawing on archival material available after the fall of communism in southeastern Europe and Russia, as well as material published in Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Russian, Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe analyzes the challenges posed by nationalism to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the ways in which Orthodox churches engaged in the nationalist ideology.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-5607-5
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. CHAPTER 1 Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-13)
    Lucian N. Leustean

    On the morning of January 5, 1859, at the end of the liturgy in the Orthodox cathedral in Iaşi, the capital of the principality of Moldavia, Father Neofit Scriban addressed the congregation. He had given many sermons in the cathedral; however, on this particular date Father Neofit faced an unusual audience. Among the faithful who regularly worshipped at the relics of Saint Parascheva, the protector of Moldavia, were the members of the assembly who would decide the future of the principality. They had a specific mission: to elect a new prince, a key figure in their plan to unite Moldavia...

  5. CHAPTER 2 The Ecumenical Patriarchate
    (pp. 14-33)
    Paschalis M. Kitromilides

    The impact of the major force shaping European modernity in the nineteenth century, nationalism, upon the foremost institution around which Orthodox society traditionally cohered in Southeastern Europe, the Patriarchate of Constantinople, forms a complex story that can be seen to unfold on many levels. The response of the patriarchate to the secular challenge of nationalism was equally complicated and could be traced in many contexts. To avoid confusion, anachronism, and unfairness in attempting to recover, at least partly, this story, one precondition must emphatically be borne in mind: an understanding of the encounter of the patriarchate with nationalism should not...

  6. CHAPTER 3 The Orthodox Church of Greece
    (pp. 34-64)
    Dimitris Stamatopoulos

    The founding of the Greek autocephalous church marked a significant stage in the creation of nationalized churches in the Balkans, which had formerly been under the control of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.¹ The establishment of the church in 1833 and its recognition by the patriarchate in 1850 formed the prelude to the progressive dissolution of the Orthodox flock in the Ottoman Balkans.² However, the prototype for this situation (the creation of a nation-state in Southeastern Europe) did not necessarily entail some sort of originality in the organization of the new institution. As was the case in the adoption of...

  7. CHAPTER 4 The Serbian Orthodox Church
    (pp. 65-100)
    Bojan Aleksov

    There are two mutually related issues that require clarification when discussing the history of the Orthodox faith and church among the Serbs during the long nineteenth century. Firstly, although the Serbian Orthodox Church carries the legacy of the Patriarchate of Peć (1346–1463 in medieval Serbia and 1557–1766 in the Ottoman Empire), the Karlovci Metropolitanate (1691–1920 in the Habsburg Empire) and an independent archbishopric established in 1219, its name and present structure date back only to 1920. It was only after the First World War and the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia from...

  8. CHAPTER 5 The Romanian Orthodox Church
    (pp. 101-163)
    Lucian N. Leustean

    At first glance, the nationalist ideology of the French Revolution seems to have had little impact on the Orthodox Church in Romanian-speaking territories. Romanians were the predominant inhabitants of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia and the neighboring territories of Transylvania (including Crişana, Maramureş and Banat), Bukovina, Bessarabia, and Dobrudja. The majority of ethnic Romanians belonged to the Orthodox faith while their communities were at the intersection of geopolitical interests of the Russian, Ottoman, and Habsburg empires.

    In 1859 the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia (known as the Old Kingdom between 1866 and 1918) united into a single state under...

  9. CHAPTER 6 The Bulgarian Orthodox Church
    (pp. 164-202)
    Daniela Kalkandjieva

    The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is one of a number of Southeastern European churches that played a significant role in the formation of the country’s national identity. The relationship of the Bulgarian Church with nationalism in the Ottoman period differs from that of the other Orthodox churches in the Balkans. This specificity was an outcome of the delayed institutional establishment of the Bulgarian Church, which was founded in 1870 as an exarchate, by a special decree of the Ottoman sultan. Until then Bulgarians were under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople—a canonical institution that fully corresponded to their Orthodox...

  10. Postscript
    (pp. 203-206)
    Lucian N. Leustean

    This volume’s analysis of Orthodox Christianity and nationalism in nineteenth-century Southeastern Europe has demonstrated how Orthodox churches have been indissolubly tied to the concept of the nation. The legacy of the relationship between Orthodox Christianity and nationalism has been visible in the following areas:

    First, the beginning of the twentieth century saw fully fledged national churches in Greece, Serbia, and Romania, each of which played an important role in shaping the religious, social and political lives of their own states. Although churches in these countries lost significant revenue due to the process of land and estate secularization, they remained prime...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 207-262)
  12. List of Contributors
    (pp. 263-266)
  13. Index
    (pp. 267-276)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 277-278)