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Accepted Paper:

Between God and Caesar: Orthodox monastics in two political settings  
Alice Forbess (London School of Economics)

Paper short abstract:

A comparative, historically-grounded analysis of the intersections of Orthodox Christianity and 'the political' in Montenegro and Romania, two Orthodox majority countries where secularist ideologies were strongly inhabituated during socialism.

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines how Orthodox Christianity intersects with 'the political' in Montenegro and Romania, two democratizing Orthodox majority countries where secularist ideologies were strongly in-habituated during socialism. Eastern Orthodox dogma challenges the religious/secular distinction, but what have been the on-the-ground consequences of this ideological stance in each setting? Montenegro is former theocracy where warrior bishops led anti-Ottoman resistance, becoming deeply interwoven with the national project. After the secession from Serbia (2006) struggles over Orthodox religiosity and patrimony have increasingly come to index contrasting political attitudes, mobilizing factions in intense intra and inter-state disputes. Meanwhile in Romania, the recent revelation that leading Orthodox clerics had acted as secret police informants under communism placed the Church at the centre of renewed contestations over the past and future. The comparative focus is on the transformations of 'the religious' and its interaction with political life across a series of modernisation projects, including socialism and its aftermath.

Panel W051
From the mouth of God: 'the political' from a post-secular perspective
  Session 1