An Orthodox Commonwealth: Symbolic Legacies and Cultural Encounters in Southeastern Europe, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

An Orthodox Commonwealth

Symbolic Legacies and Cultural Encounters in Southeastern Europe, 1st Edition

By Paschalis M. Kitromilides


276 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659631
pub: 2007-11-28
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This collection brings together fifteen studies on the survival and adaptation of the Orthodox religious and cultural tradition in the societies of Southeastern Europe after the fall of Constantinople, a world so often misunderstood and misinterpreted. This problem of cultural history is examined in a diversity of contexts and on multiple levels of analysis in order to elucidate issues of broader concern to social theory such as the fluidity and dynamic character of identity, the intricate encounter of religion and politics and the challenge of secular world views such as the Enlightenment and nationalism to traditional religious outlooks. The author argues consistently against all forms of reductionism, converses at length with the sources in order to pose questions to conventional views and invites the historical imagination to recover and understand a world submerged by the nationalist interpretation of the past. This task involves the recovery of the geographical pluralism that made Orthodox culture a truly transnational phenomenon. The collection accordingly brings into focus both the epicentres of Orthodox culture and symbolism such as Mt Athos and Constantinople, but also its hinterlands in Asia Minor and the Balkans.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part 1 Identities: 'Balkan mentality': history, legend, imagination; Orthodox culture and collective identity in the Ottoman Balkans during the 18th century; Orthodox identities in a world of Ottoman power; In the pre-modern Balkans…: loyalties, identities, anachronisms. Part 2 Religion and Politics: Initiatives of the Great Church in the mid-18th century: hypotheses on the factors of Orthodox ecclesiastical strategy; From Orthodox commonwealth to national communities. Greek-Russian intellectual and ecclesiastical ties in the Ottoman era. Part 3 Focus and Hinterland: Athos and the enlightenment; Philokalia's first journey?; Byzantine twilight or belated enlightenment in Asia Minor. Part 4 Challenges: On the intellectual content of Greek nationalism. Paparrigopoulos, Byzantium and the Great Idea; Europe and the dilemmas of Greek conscience; The Greek cultural presence in the Balkans; The ecumenical Patriarchate and the 'national centre'. Part 5 Research Perspectives: Athos and its image in the early 20th century. The Visitor Book of Dionysiou monastery, 1908-1935; The intellectual foundations of Asia Minor studies: the R.M. Dawkins-Melpo Merlier correspondence. Index.

About the Author

Paschalis M. Kitromilides, PhD Harvard University, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Athens and Director of the Centre for Asia Minor Studies. From 2000 to 2011 he was Director of the Institute of Neohellenic Research at the National Hellenic Research Foundation.

His books in English include:

The Enlightenment as Social Criticism. Iosipos Moisiodax and Greek Culture in the Eighteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992); Enlightenment Nationalism Orthodoxy (Variorum, 1994); An Orthodox Commonwealth. Symbolic Legacies and Cultural Encounters in Southeastern Europe (Variorum Collected Studies Series, Ashgate, 2007); Adamantios Korais and the European Enlightenment (Voltaire Foundation, 2010); Enlightenment and Revolution. The Making of Modern Greece (Harvard University Press, 2013); Enlightenment and religion in the Orthodox world (Voltaire Foundation, 2016).

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General