'Giving everyone their due': Religious buildings in Sofia and the conceptualisation of national identity, 1878-1912

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Abstract:

This article concerns the attempt of the re-emerged Bulgarian state to re-define and re-conceptualise national identity in Sofia's visual and spatial representations. The idea to conceptualise and represent Bulgarian identity as homogeneous in the monumental St Nevsky's Cathedral was transformed through the simultaneous and synchronic emergence of monumental houses of worship of other ethnic and religious communities. The forging of Bulgarian identity, in anticipation of reunification, veered from official concepts towards pre-liberation democratic ideology. This countered the elite's vision and helped others assert difference as a component of Bulgarian-ness, thus introducing an alternative to the homogenising model.

Keywords: difference; homogeneity; ideology; national identity; representation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14608940902891583

Affiliations: Department of English and American Studies, Sofia University, Bulgaria

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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