Enlightenment and Religion in the Orthodox World

BookEnlightenment and Religion in the Orthodox World

Enlightenment and Religion in the Orthodox World

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2016:02


February 3rd, 2016

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The place of religion in the Enlightenment has been keenly debated for many years. Research has tended, however, to examine the interplay of religion and knowledge in Western countries, often ignoring the East. In Enlightenment and religion in the Orthodox World leading historians address this imbalance by exploring the intellectual and cultural challenges and changes that took place in Orthodox communities during the eighteenth century.
The two main centres of Orthodoxy, the Greek-speaking world and the Russian Empire, are the focus of early chapters, with specialists analysing the integration of modern cosmology into Greek education, and the Greek alternative ‘enlightenment’, the spiritual Philokalia. Russian experts also explore the battle between the spiritual and the rational in the works of Voulgaris and Levshin. Smaller communities of Eastern Europe were faced with their own particular difficulties, analysed by contributors in the second part of the book. Governed by modernising princes who embraced Enlightenment ideals, Romanian society was fearful of the threat to its traditional beliefs, whilst Bulgarians were grappling in different ways with a new secular ideology. The particular case of the politically-divided Serbian world highlights how Dositej Obradović’s complex humanist views have been used for varying ideological purposes ever since. The final chapter examines the encroachment of the secular on the traditional in art, and the author reveals how Western styles and models of representation were infiltrating Orthodox art and artefacts.
Through these innovative case studies this book deepens our understanding of how Christian and secular systems of knowledge interact in the Enlightenment, and provides a rich insight into the challenges faced by leaders and communities in eighteenth-century Orthodox Europe.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
List of Illustrations10
1. The Enlightenment and the Orthodox World: Historiographical and Theoretical Challenges18
2. The Enlightenment in the Greek Orthodox East: Appropriation, Dilemmas, Ambiguities30
3. The Greek Enlightenment, The Orthodox Church and Modern Science62
4. An Alternative 'Enlightenment': The Philokalia76
5. Understanding God and Tolerating Humankind: Orthodoxy and the Enlightenment in Evgenios Voulgaris and Platon Levshin86
6. The Battle Against Superstition in Eighteenth-Century Russia: Between 'Rational' and 'Spiritual'154
7. The Enlightenment and Orthodox Culture in the Romanian Principalities170
8. The Enlightenment of Dositej Obradović in the Context of Christian Classical Humanism188
9. The Serbian Church Hierarchy and Popular Education in the Hapsburg Lands During the Eighteenth Century220
10. The Vicissitudes of Dositej Obradović's Enlightenment Cult Among the Serbs242
11. The Challenge of Secularism in Bulgarian Orthodox Society262
12. The Interplay of Orthodoxy and Enlightenment in Religious Art286