experience - by the agonising dilemmas faced by two Orthodox Arab intellectuals in the early twentieth century, Khalil Sakakini and Iskandar Quburisi. In their different ways both of them found in nationalism and in the passionate commitments it generated an outlet from the embittered frustration associated with their social position as members of a vulnerable minority that had lost its prominence with the decline and disappearance ofOttoman rule in the Arab world. But the new, liberating commitment to nationalism proved to be incompatible with their Orthodox Christian identity. Although Arab nationalism had originated among Orthodox Christian communities, it turned out that, if an Arab was to commit his life to the nationalist cause, he had to leave his Christianity behind.32 This is what both of these remarkable thinkers opted to do, leaving a powerful existential testimony on the incompatibility between Orthodox Christianity and nationalism.
The supranational centre of Orthodoxy, the ecumenical patriarchate, did not remain immune to the challenge of nationalism. Despite the long tradition of opposition to nationalism that extended back to Patriarch Gregory V and despite the condemnation of ethnophyletism in 1872, the lethal struggle against the exarchate in Macedonia dragged the patriarchate into the vortex of nationalism. At the turn of the nineteenth century a younger generation of dynamic prelates, with Chrysostom of Drama (and then of Smyrna) and Germanos of Kastoria (and then of Amasya) at their head, guided the Great Church towards an alliance with Greek nationalism, in order to defend the rights of the patriarchate. The alliance with nationalism brought them into conflict with the strategy of the patriarch Joachim III (1878-84, 1901-12), who was a firm believer in the supranational character of the Orthodox Church and resisted all initiatives to identify the patriarchate with the policies of any particular national state, even Greece.33 Patriarch Joachim III believed that safeguarding the traditional privileges of the Orthodox community would provide the basis for the survival of the Christian people in a multicultural Ottoman state and therefore insisted on loyalty to the empire. He regarded with deep scepticism the inherent adventurism he perceived in nationalism. After the death of Joachim III in 1912, however, the patriarchate of Constantinople gave in to
32 Elie Kedourie, The Chatham House version and other Middle-Eastern Studies, new edition (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1984), 317-50, 450-7.
33 For a discussion in English see E. Kophos, 'Patriarch Joachim III (1878-1884) and the irredentist policy of the Greek state', Journal of Modern Greek Studies 4 (1986), 107-20.
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