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Eastern Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe
     

Eastern Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe

by Lucian N. Leustean (Editor)
 

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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

Overview


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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For too long, the scholarly literature on Eastern Orthodoxy has been accessible only to polyglots. Here, however, a first-rate team of contributors not only brings the subject within reach of an English-speaking readership, but also relates it to current debates about the development of nations and nationalism. Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, this important new book will speak to historians and political scientists alike."--Simon Dixon, Sir Bernard Pares Professor of Russian History, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London

"This is an excellent collection. It provides the first overview showing how Orthodox Churches helped form nation-states in Southeastern European. The editor assembles a first rate cast of scholars and in his introduction effectively situates the topic within the broader field of nationalism. It will be of interest to students of nationalism , of religion, and of area studies."--John Hutchinson, Reader in Nationalism and Ethnicity, London School of Economics and Political Science

"The Orthodox nations of South-Eastern Europe all emerged in the nineteenth (and early twentieth) century from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Nationhood and Orthodoxy were entwined. However, as the studies in this book demonstrate, the process of emergence as a nation differed very significantly in each case, whether Greece, Serbia, Romania or Bulgaria. Their relationships to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, their conceptions of their (often mythicized) past, the relationship between church and state: all these differed and interacted with each other in varying ways. This complex history is illuminated in the contributions to this fascinating book, which lays bare concerns that belong not just to the nineteenth century, but to Europe today to which all these nations belong, or aspire to belong."--Andrew Louth , Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University

"Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, which has adopted a centralized perspective in both its teachings and organization, during the last two centuries Eastern Orthodox churches have maintained centralization of teachings, but encouraged the organization of churches along ethnic lines and with separate hierarchical structures. While successful in overcoming centralism and clericalism, the Orthodox churches have encountered another danger, namely nationalism, whose influence rendered them vulnerable to factionalism and unable to speak with a unified voice in today's ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. This volume on the relationship between nationalism and Orthodoxy in the 19th and early 20th century represents a major breakthrough in the scholarship on religion and nationalism because it provides for the first time in-depth analyses of the complex interplay between the nascent national Orthodox churches and the emergence of the Balkan nation-states."--Lucian Turcescu, Concordia University

"This book provides an excellent essay on each of the countries under consideration. With fifty pages of notes any student of Balkan church history should have enough source material to provide a fair evaluation of the steps that occurred in this century of rapid change."-Charles A. Frazee, Church History

"In the great family of Christian denominations, few are more mysterious to the western mind than Orthodoxy. Its liturgies are deemed exotic, its theology dimly understood, and its ecclesiastical organisation the subject of befuddled conjecture [...] there can be no hesitation in recommending this volume to as wide an audience as possible; scholars of modern European Christianity in particular will find much that is useful in its pages. It is only to be hoped that the book will encourage further scholarship in this vein."-James White, Europe-Asia Studies

"This collection assembles an impressive array of scholars to trace the connection between nationalism and Eastern Orthodoxy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries following the decline of the Ottoman Empire... Each of the essays exemplifies rigorous scholarship as they grapple with political complexities of the previous two centuries."--Theological Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823256068
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Publication date:
07/02/2014
Series:
Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought (FUP) Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author

Lucian N. Leustean is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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