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Orthodoxy and political myths in Balkan national identities

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This article analyses the relationship between Balkan national identities and the region's dominant religion: Eastern Orthodox Christianity. After examining the concept of 'symphonia' between Orthodoxy and politics that developed during the Byzantine Empire, this article argues that the political myths that have emerged from Orthodoxy are the most potent in the Balkan mythical imaginary. Political myths have a direct impact on contemporary politics developing a threefold structure: the sacralisation of politics; the perception of the nation as a divine manifestation; and, the construction of a divine realm on earth.

Keywords: Balkans; Bulgaria; Eastern Orthodox Christianity; Greece; Macedonia; Romania; Serbia; mythical imaginary; symphonia

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608940802519045

Affiliations: Aston University, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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