"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, May 30, 2011

Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe

Central European University Press has recently published a collection of articles edited by Bruce  Berglund, Brian Porter-Szűcs, Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe (CEUP, 2010), 380pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
Religious history more generally has experienced an exciting revival over the past few years, with new methodological and theoretical approaches invigorating the field. The time has definitely come for this “new religious history” to arrive in Eastern Europe. This book e xplores the influence of the Christian churches in Eastern Europe's social, cultural, and political history. Drawing upon archival sources, the work fills a vacuum as few scholars have systematically explored the history of Christianity in the region.
The result of a three-year project, this collective work challenges readers with questions like: Is secularization a useful concept in understanding the long-term dynamics of religiosity in Eastern Europe? Is the picture of oppression and resistance an accurate way to characterize religious life under communism, or did Christians and communists find ways to co-exist on the local level prior to 1989? And what role did Christians actually play in dissident movements under communism? Perhaps most important is the question: what does the study of Eastern Europe contribute to the broader study of modern Christian history, and what can we learn from the interpretative problems that arise, uniquely, from this region? 
The whole volume looks fascinating, and will be reviewed in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, but several articles stand out:
  • Competing Concepts of “Reunification” behind the Liquidation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Natalia Shlikhta)
  • From Bottom to the Top and Back: On How to Build a Church in Communist Romania (Anca Şincan)

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