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Title: The Bulgarian Orthodox Church : a socio-historical analysis of the evolving relationship between church, nation and state in Bulgaria
Author: Hopkins, J. L.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis is a historical study of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, with specific reference to its role in relation to the Bulgarian State. Against an extended discussion of the Byzantine and early Ottoman eras, it focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries, with a detailed examination of church-state relationships in the later Ottoman, Communist and Post-communist periods. The research falls specifically within the discipline of ecclesiastical history and is intended to contribute to the fields of World and Balkan Christianity. The thesis is based substantially on Bulgarian sources: unpublished archival, published literary and oral resources. The thesis asks critical questions of key elements in Bulgaria’s traditional historiography, subjecting it to socio-historical criticism, exposing discrepancies between renowned myths, which highlight the heroic and salvific work of the Bulgarian Church during the period of Ottoman domination, and verifiable history. Chapter I provides an historical evaluation of four critical moments in the formation of Bulgarian Orthodox identity (865-1396). Chapter II, focusing on the earlier Ottoman period, investigates the religio-historical context in the country prior to the National Revival, which commenced from the late 18th century, and considers archival evidence of enforced Ottoman conversion. Chapter III focuses on the National Revival. Chapter IV investigates the development of the National Church movement and argues that foreign national intrigue helped to give birth to the conception of Bulgarian ecclesiastical independence. Chapter V moves on from the Ottoman period to the birth and consolidation of the Bulgarian state and considers the upheavals of war on church-state relationship. Almost fifty years of communism took a heavy toll on the Church and Chapter VI investigates this difficult era. Chapter VII focuses on the post-communist era. Chapter VII uses the collated evidence to construct a historical interpretation of church-state relations and evaluates their contribution towards the formation of Bulgarian ecclesiastical nationalism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available