Religious Dissent Between the Modern and the National: Nazarenes in Hungary and Serbia 1850-1914
Bojan Aleksov's study portrays the origins and the spreading of the Nazarenes - the first Protestant Serbs - in South Hungary and Serbia as an indicator of social change among the Serbian people, whose demands and needs the Orthodox Church had failed to meet. In order to account for the success of Nazarene missionaries, it also illuminates the strategies employed by Nazarenes in expanding and maintaining their communities which range from communalism, group mores and practices, internal economic organization of the Nazarene communities and their attitude towards economic change, and finally the appeal of the Nazarene faith and worship. Looking at the social, economic, cultural and historical motives of conversions to Nazarenes, it examines in depth the Nazarenes' challenge to the Serbian Orthodox Church and the latter's belated response in the form of the so-called re-Orthodoxization (in line with newly invented tradition of the Serbian version of Orthodox Christianity - Svetosavlje) and the development of the mass Bogomoljci movement with its implications for the development of the Serbian national self-identification observed in the changes of the notions of Church, religion and piety, which finally (during the interwar period) resulted in a discourse that combined and fused the nation and the Orthodox Church and closed the long-lasting gap between the Church and the Serbian people/nation.
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