Případ Svatá Helena. (Re)interpretace náboženských dějin české obce v Rumunsku
THE CASE OF SVATA HELENA (SF. ELENA). (RE)INTERPRETATION OF RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF CZECH COMMUNITY IN ROMANIA
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This study is dedicated to the interpretation of the history of the community Svatá Helena (Sf. Elena), founded in the 1820s by the colonists from the Czech Lands. The study interprets the religious history of the community throughout the nineteenth century, determined in the first place by the multiconfessional environment and popular religiosity. Such local milieu offered ideal conditions for the origin of specific forms of popular devoutness. In case of Svatá Helena, earlier research led to a thesis that presented the local non-Catholic inhabitants as bearers of the tradition of sectarianism that arose in Eastern Bohemia at the times of the Patent of Toleration (1781). This sectarian tradition was characterized by a deep individual religiosity based on the individual interpretation of the Holy Scripture as well as direct relation to the symbolic Universe without mediation of any type of Church. The present study, however, refutes this „sectarian thesis“ and proves the need to find another interpretations, based on consistent analysis of primary sources and literature. Such new interpretation rebuts the earlier generalizations and enables deeper understanding of the religious history of Svatá Helena, but also the problem of confessionally delineated popular groups in general. Besides, it discloses wider, as yet unexplored perspective of the missionary movement Free Reformed Church and the abstinence movement Blue Cross. The resulting religious disunion within the Evangelical community was caused precisely by this religious activity that was related to the revival movement within nineteenth-century Protestantism. In the conclusion of the article, the author remarks that the missionary activities of Blue Cross movement were not exclusively focused to the community Svatá Helena, but should be evaluated in the wider context of religious situation in South-Eastern Europe.
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