Koncept „symfonie církve a státu“ v srbském prostředí a jeho vliv na utváření postoje Srbské pravoslavné církve k jugoslávské krizi
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The Concept of “Symphony Between the Church and State” in the Serbian Orthodox Milieu and its Influence on the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Attitude to the Crisis in Yugoslavia
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The role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia and its reactions to the atrocities committed during the conflict have been highly controversial in both scholarly and public discourse. In this article, I identify and examine the predominant theoretical concepts upon which the Serbian Orthodox Church based its policies in the period of the late 1980s and 1990s. The notion of symphony between the church and state established during the Byzantine Empire proved to be the cornerstone on which Orthodox churches built their perception of ideal political and social organization as well as their own position in relation to the state and society. The original Byzantine concept has been, however, modified by particular Orthodox churches depending on the historical context in which they developed. The specifics of the symphony adopted by the Serbian Orthodox milieu are analyzed here. Regarding the modification of the concept, I emphasize the importance of two crucial figures of the 20th century’s Serbian orthodox theology: Nikolai Velimirović and Justin Popović. Drawing on rich primary sources, especially journals published by the Serbian Orthodox Church, I argue that the symphony and other theoretical concepts relating to the ideal form of the political and social organization of the state postulated by Velimirović and Popović dominated the Church’s official discourse in the period examined. They also represented the ideological framework that later influenced the Serbian Orthodox Church’s attitudes towards the crisis in Yugoslavia and the consequences of the state’s violent dissolution. To some extent, they still shape the Serbian Orthodox Church’s self-understanding in the conflict.
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