"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).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nationalism in the 19th Century

Nobody who has any interest in or understanding of Christianity in the East can avoid for very long the sorry task of contending with ethno-nationalism in its various forms. I have a paper coming out later this year in Pro Ecclesia on the ecclesiological problems created by nationalism as it emerges in post-revolutionary France and then spreads to various places under French influence (the Levant, Syria), to Russia (through Joseph de Maistre's long ambassadorship there), and then especially to newly created nation-states emerging in the sunset of the Ottoman Empire in southern Europe and the Balkans. I am keen therefore to read this newly published book under Lucian Leustean's editorship, Orthodox Christianity and Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century Southeastern Europe (Fordham UP, 2014), 256pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
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.

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