Paschalis M Kitrqmilides

The militancy ofthe Orthodox Church's response to western ideological influences on Orthodox society during the first and third patriarchates of Gregory V (1797-99,1818-21) has created among many observers the false impression of a consistent and clear-cut opposition between the Orthodox Church and the Enlightenment. This has obscured the long tradition of fashioning its ecclesiastical, pastoral and educational strategy in a way that accommodated the Enlightenment. What is in fact indicated by the reactions of the Orthodox Church to the French Revolution in the late 1790s and to the Greek Revolution in the 1820s is the conflict between Orthodoxy and nationalism. While the Enlightenment confronted the church with a secular universalist ideology, which, questions of doctrine aside, could in some instances complement and even sustain its own ecumenical values, nationalism gave rise to a conflict, where the issues not only were on the level of secular versus transcendental values but also set the ecumenicity of Christian ideals against the parochialism of nationalism. The history of this conflict turned out to be identical with the history of the Orthodox Church in the nineteenth century.

Balkan nationalism

Nationalism became a real, as opposed to a theoretical problem for Orthodoxy, once the peoples of the Balkans rose up in arms against Ottoman rule in the early nineteenth century. The protracted revolts in the Balkans - first the Serb uprising, begun in 1804 and fought out intermittently until 1830, and then the Greek, from 1821 to 1832 - provided the crucible for the transformation of the Orthodox religious communities of the Balkans into modern nations. Part of the transformation involved the radical reshaping of local ecclesiastical communities from branches of ecumenical Orthodoxy into components of new nations. If the long-term ecclesiastical consequences of emerging Balkan nationalism were not immediately apparent in the case ofthe Serbs, they were

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