"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).

Friday, June 12, 2020

Post-Communist Romanian Orthodoxy

The number of books treating post-communist religion and much else in Eastern Europe seems to have picked up pace again. Later this summer we shall have another: The Orthodox Church and National Identity in Post-Communist Romania by Adrian Velicu (Palgrave Macmillan, August 2020), 178pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:
This book explores the Romanian Orthodox Church’s arguments on national identity to legitimize its own place in a post-communist Romania. The work traces the clergy’s deployment of the concepts of Christian Orthodoxy and Latin legacy as part of an uncharted constellation of arguments in contemporary intellectual history. A survey of public intellectuals’ opinions on national identity complements the Church’s views. The investigation attempts to offer an insight into the Church’s efforts to re-assert itself, given free rein in a post-dictatorial world of accelerated modernization. After clarifying and surveying the Church’s claims on institutional and national identity, the book then also explores the secular ideas on the subject. The subsequent analysis treats this material as “speech acts” (statements doing, not only saying, something) which are occasionally out of sync. Against a background of secularization, the Church’s rhetoric articulates a distinct line of thought in the post-89 intellectual landscape.

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