Sunday, 30 July 2017

"Religion in Romania means something completely different from what it means in Catholic or Protestant countries"

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"Religion in Romania means something completely different from what it means in Catholic or Protestant countries" (Eugene Ionesco).

"In the Orthodox country, the state, the church, and the nation form a collective entity that has a will superior to the individual. This sense of collectivity, reinforced by Orthodoxy, was the main impulse of the Iron Guard. The Orthodox Christian, unlike the Catholic or Protestant, does not

fight an individual battle for his own salvation against sin and temptation. Personal ethics are consequently of lesser importance. For him the blessing of immortality can be attained here on earth, too - in an impersonal unity with divinity achieved through fasting, deep contemplative prayer and sometimes a rather mechanical exercise of his religion" (Nagy-Talavera, 'The Green Shirts and the Others').

The absence of the filioque clause from the Orthodox liturgy is not an abstruse point of no practical importance, as it might seem. The fact that in the Orthodox Church the Holy Spirit proceeds from God the Father but does not 'proceed from' Christ, makes Orthodoxy less worldly, less embodied, a bit more like Buddhism, than Western Christianity. And it is the Orthodox religion which makes Orthodox countries so fascinatingly different from Catholic and Protestant ones, so hard for Westerners to understand. It's true in economic and political terms as in everything else.

1 comment:

  1. Emil Perhinschi commented:

    "In the Orthodox country, the state, the church, and the nation form a collective entity that has a will superior to the individual."

    That is Gentile and the Encycopledia of fascism.

    The Iron Guard was the bastard child of Asociatia Stundentilor Crestini din Romania , founded by the Anglican Church in the early 20s

    They founded the ASCR in 1919 or 1920, with hymns and preaching etc. got bored of it around 1925 or lost control, by 1927 it became ASCOR, that is "Asociatia studentilor crestin-ortodocsi romani", and where all the founders and a lot of the later members of the Iron Guard met there

    Gentile as in Giovanni Gentile, Mussolini's house philosopher, Nagy-Talavera is just reciting from him, or from Marcu-Balş who was later known as Petre Pandrea and as a Communist but in the 20s was reciting G.Gentile in the press.

    In the '20s the Anglican Church talked about and lobbied for a union with the Romanian Orthodox Church (with the BOR as a junior member, of course), but around 1925 when they were starting to get traction promptly and in very good British tradition changed their minds and went away, very probably to bother somebody else.

    The side effects were they helped Mircea Eliade get an interest in religion, also got Nae Ionescu involved with religion though on the opposing side, might have provoked the only schism in the Romanian Orthodox Church (the excomunication of Tudor Popescu, you might know about the history of Cuibul cu Barza) etc.

    Yes, the Iron Guard too, but those were just dumb mercenaries, they would have worked for anybody including Stalin if given half a chance.

    Romania was never very Orthodox. After the 1860s with the National Liberal Party in power Romania was even less Orthodox: the liberals were rabidly anticlerical and stomped into the ground the Orthodox church, the Catholics, the neo-Protestants (not may protestants to stomp, that's why they got away), the Jews ... from there the fame of antisemitism, but in context it was like this: all religions and clergy and religious education were equally persecuted, had schools closed, clergy intimidated, property confiscated etc.

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