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Imagological aspects of the Slavonian religious polemics in the 18. century


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Šutalo, Goranka. (2017). Imagological aspects of the Slavonian religious polemics in the 18. century. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of History.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij ranog novog vijeka) [mentor Dukić, Davor].

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In eighteenth-century Slavonia and Croatia literary work is of a predominantly religious and moral character, with the purpose of popular education, and as an important subject to Slavonian authors emerges the controversy between Eastern and Western Christianity. After the so-called Great Migration of the Serbs (1690), mostly from the Kosovo area, to the territory of Southern Hungary (Vojvodina) and Croatian-Slavonian Military Frontier, as a burning issue arises the unification of the Orthodox believers with the Catholic Church in terms of their full integration, as defined in the apostolic letter Divinae Maiestatis Arbitrio (1611), written by the Pope Paul V. Since, during the early modern period, the Orthodox population from different areas immigrated in different ways into the territory of the Habsburg Monarchy, where up until the Patent of Toleration (1781) Catholicism was considered to be above all other Christian faiths, they approached differently to the wanted integration into "uniatism" with Catholics. However, the greatest problem arose with the recently settled Serbian population, which was partly responsible for the victory over Ottomans in the Battle of Vienna. In other words, their religious integration was much more difficult to achieve than that of the Orthodox believers who lived further from the border because, by playing an active role in Croatian-Slavonian Military Frontier, they partly represented a military border system of the Habsburg Monarchy. The domination of the theological controversy about Orthodoxy, precisely in the 18th century, is, therefore, a result of the Serbian Orthodox believers' migrations into the areas of the Monarchy. The controversial theology, encouraged by the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in 1622, got its very own department as early as the 17th century, and in the 18th century it primarily refers to Orthodox Christians. The main representatives of the Croatian eighteenth-century controversial theology in national language (in this work we are not analyzing the texts written in Latin by the Jesuits Franjo Ksaver Pejačević, Anton Werntle and Ivan K. Šimunić) were Franciscans (Bačić, Vilov, Pavić) and Jesuits (Mulih, Kanižlić). In the works of the aforementioned authors (controversial catechisms, pastoral manual [Pavić], scientific, theological debate and debate on church history, as well as parts of different prayer books and catechisms [Kanižlić]), we can recognise an imitation of the prescriptive post-Tridentine poetic models, which are also confirmed by the influences and connections between the three Jesuits, Habdelić, Mulih and Kanižlić. While Habdelić considered Protestants to be the main problem, Mulih and Kanižlić, as well as the above mentioned Catholic polemicists, mostly deal with Orthodox Christians. They write markedly negatively about Orthodox Greeks (however, not entirely without criticising Orthodox Slavs, as well), just as Habdelić writes about Protestants, which can also be interpreted as the legacy of a long process of the Catholic Church renewal. The most pronounced religious intolerance and bigotry in the works of Catholic polemicists is, therefore, directed towards the Orthodox Greeks, but also towards the Turks, Jews, Protestants and other Christian communities outside the Catholic Church that were labelled heretic. Aside from the works of Franciscan and Jesuit eighteenth-century controversial theology in national language, we also find stereotypical images of Orthodox Christians in the works of other genres – Vid Došen's pamphlet Sličnorični odgovor Vida Došena paroka dubovičkog, popu Jovanu od Pake (1767/1768), Ružička's sermon, translated by Adam Tadija Blagojević, Predika od jedinstva u krstjanstvu from 1773 and collections (prose or verse) by Dalmatian Franciscans Filip Grabovac (Cvit razgovora, 1747) and Andrija Kačić Miošić (Razgovor ugodni, 1756, 1759). We refer comparatively to the polemic work Zrcalo istine Crkve Istočne i Zapadnje (1716), written by a Bulgarian author Krsto Pejkić, as an example of the first controversy about Orthodoxy written in Croatian language and in Bosnian Cyrillic. In that early Pejkić's controversy about Orthodoxy we recognise all the elements of the subsequent religious polemicists, first and foremost Jesuits Mulih and Kanižlić, whose works bear the greatest resemblance to Pejkić's Zrcalo. This resemblance can be particularly recognised when emphasizing a friendly attitude towards Orthodox Christians in the Monarchy and, by all means, a negative one towards Orthodox Greeks as the main culprits for the schism. That difference between Greeks and rišćani [Orthodox Christians] (in Dalmatia) is equally emphasized by Fr. Andrija Kačić Miošić. A strong connection between Catholic and Orthodox polemic theology in the 18th century can be also seen in two texts, Епитом (1741) and Ортодоксос омлогија (1758), written by Serbian Orthodox authors Dionizije Novaković and Pavle Nenadović. Even though imagology, which presents the main theoretical and methodological framework for this thesis, mostly deals with the study of ethnic/national images, its basic approach and terminology, owing to its elaborate analytical, theoretical and notional apparatus, can also be applied in the study of religious images. The thesis, therefore, follows a general methodological outline of an imagological text analysis, applied in chosen works, starting from the author's "objective identity" (religious, ethnic/linguistic, national and political, class, gender), through thematological text analysis (searching for specific ideologemes and imagemes) and, finally, to the reconstruction of micro-imagery of the text as a part of a higher, cultural imagery. The analysis of these devotional and theological, slightly polemic, texts, serves us to discern the ideological starting point of the author, that is, the ideologemes to which the images of the Other are subordinate. The interest of this research is, therefore, directed towards interpreting auto-images and hetero-images as discursive constructs, that is, towards the textual construction or presentation of confessional identities and alterities (othernesses) in which we recognise numerous stereotypical, axiologically marked utterances, which puts us in a textual (and intertextual) frame of reference. The main purpose of this research, on the basis of such an analysis, is to investigate the way in which a religious identity is formed, in other words, to "(re)construct" the bipolarity of identity and alterity through interrelation between auto-images and heteroimages. A special analytical attention is also directed to those utterances which serve us to define the character of the Other. Alterity (Otherness) is, therefore, perceived as a constituent and complementary concept to the concept of identity and is also defined by its opposite and inferior character in relation to identity. According to Stuart Hall, one of the main characteristics of the "difference" is its ambivalent nature, which means that our attitude towards the Other can be positive and negative – apart from being necessary for meaning creation, language and culture formation, social identities and the definition of oneself as a sexual subject, the Other is also a threat, a potential danger that causes aggression. (Hall 1997: 238) Stereotypes that occur in places where there's a great power inequality are primarily responsible for creating symbolic boundaries between "we" and "they". (ibid.: 258) Considering the fact that a (ethnocultural) community, from the standpoint of social symbolic anthropology (Barth, Cohen), is seen as a symbolic construct as well as "a resource and repository of meaning, and a referent of one's identity" (Cohen 1985: 118), its symbols are merely mental constructions that give people means for creation of meaning (ibid.: 19), so, therefore, in some aspects, it is not surprising for different people to differently interpret the same phenomena. One such example is a selective transmission of the moments from the past ("the old days", "in the time of our ancestors" etc.) which are used for present purposes and adjusted to current needs in the present (the past and the present are often intertwined or their continuity is emphasized) by which the past is invoked symbolically, fairly often with the purpose of transmitting complex ideological messages. (ibid.: 101) The specificity of the research subject in this thesis are identity differences – two confessional identities (Catholic and Orthodox) in the same geopolitical area (mostly that of the Habsburg Monarchy). A different evaluation of the Orthodox Greeks (negative) and Orthodox Serbs (the Grenzers) in the Monarchy (ambivalent, but predominantly positive) can be seen in almost all texts of the Catholic polemicists (with the exception of Filip Grabovac, who writes about Orthodox Christians in Dalmatia, and Kanižlić in the preface to his prayer book Primogući i srdce nadvladajući uzroci, 1760). While in the works of Jesuits Mulih and Kanižlić (as earlier in the case of a Bulgarian author Pejkić) that difference is explicitly highlighted by addressing the Orthodox believers in the Monarchy as friends, different from the Greeks (the culprits for the dissension and discord), the Franciscans don't stress the difference as clearly, but a friendly attitude can be often recognised in the use of possessives naši hrišćani [our Christians], as we can see in the work of Antun Bačić, and similarly in that of Stjepan Vilov. Slavophile ideologemes can, therefore, be recognised in most of the analysed religio-polemic texts, and can also be explained by the legacy of the baroque Slavism, which was in the seventeenth century mostly characterised by the danger from the Ottomans and by the efforts of the Catholic Church to unite Catholics with the Orthodox. That is not as surprising if we bear in mind that in the first half of the 18th century freeing the Orthodox from the Turks still meant their probable accession to the union. It can't be ruled out that a growing domination of the Constantinople patriarchs over the Orthodox under Ottoman rule in the first half of the 18th century could have made such an influence to cause such an extremely negative evaluation of the Orthodox Greeks in the Catholic polemic texts. The Greek clergy was also the main opponent to the union, amongst the Orthodox in the Ottoman Empire. This growing Greek influence, intensified in the second half of the 18th century, will result in more and more unfavourable position of the Peć patriarch, and the sultan's court blamed the patriarchs of Peć for participating in the Battle of Vienna and cooperating with the enemy Christian army. The result of such an influence was appointing Greeks as patriarchs of Peć, and consequently, abolishing the Patriarchate of Peć in 1766. (Bogović 1982: 87) On the basis of such a negative evaluation of the Greeks, it can be concluded that, alongside the Ottomans, there was an attempt in the Catholic polemics to portray the Orthodox Greeks, as well, as dangerous religious enemies of the Catholics and Orthodox Christians (the Slavs) in the Monarchy. Laying the biggest blame on the Orthodox Greek renegades (who are arrogant, uncompromising and the main culprits for the schism amongst Christian brothers) thus becomes a common procedure and probably a consciously chosen method in the Catholic religious polemics of the eighteenth century, whose main goal should have been convincing the Orthodox Christians to join the union. The Orthodox Christians' Union needed to be realised on the basis of the decree of Florence for the Greeks which contained the following: acceptance of Filioque, usage of leavened and unleavened bread in the consecration of the Eucharist and, as the most important, acknowledge of the Roman bishop's primacy. Such orders were unacceptable for the Orthodox Christians (the Grenzers), so they rejected the union because they feared the changes in religion, which also involved practices characteristic of Orthodox Christians. As a result, the Catholic controversialists insist on the difference between religion and rite, and they see the confusion of the two as one of the Orthodox Christians' main misconception and thence an obstacle for accession to the union. Maintaining the union in the 18th century is also much more difficult because of the interdependence, that is, the common interests of Vienna and Orthodox Grenzers in the Military Frontier system. That is also confirmed by a modest success of the bishops (Uniate) of Marča as early as the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century, which was a result of the alliance between patriarch Crnojević and the Court of Vienna during the Battle of Vienna. A friendly attitude towards Orthodox Christians in the Monarchy, as well as inviting them to the union in such an atmosphere (because Orthodox Greeks are the main culprits for the schism) can be understood because the (Slavonian) Catholic polemicists were trying to bring closer the Uniate orientation of the official Catholic hierarchy with foreign policy interests of the Monarchy and, accordingly, with the position of the Orthodox Grenzers in the Military Frontier. The texts of the Catholic controversialists (Franciscans and Jesuits) show a certain schematism of themes when writing about Orthodox Christians: a short or long schism history overview, which usually starts with the Constantinople patriarch Acacius from the 5th century, a particular emphasis (demonisation) on the Constantinople patriarch Photios from the 9th century, whose objections against the Latin (there are even ten of them) already contain four key dogmatic differences between the Eastern and Western Church (Filioque, consecration with (un)leavened bread, doctrine of purgatory, papal primacy), the final schism in 1054 and patriarch Cerularius, a review on ecumenical councils (acknowledged by the Roman-Catholic Church), and especially the council of Florence, where a temporary union occurs (primarily because of Mark of Ephesus who encourages the inhabitants of Constantinople to resist the unification), a dogmatic part (four basic Catholic dogmas: Filioque, leavened and unleavened bread, purgatory, papal primacy as the most problematic) and an explanation of the differences between religion and rite (union' s explanation), referring to the authority of Latin and Greek fathers and teachers before the final schism (Augustine, Jerome, Athanasius the Great, Basil the Great, Cyril of Alexandria, John Chrysostom etc.), the fall of Constantinople as a God's punishment in the spirit of Bellarmine's argumentation, the Turks as a God's punishment to the Greeks because of their sins (hubris), in other words, the schism, stressing the ignorance and lack of education of primarily (Serbian) Orthodox priests, and the people, as well (thefts and robberies, religious practices full of superstition, criticism of numerous fasts etc.), different evaluation of Orthodox Greeks and Orthodox Slavs. Kanižlic's sarcastic epitaph to Photios is a kind of culmination of his polemical text (Kamen pravi smutnje velike [The Real Stumbling-block of Great Discord], 1780) in which the author collects (and also adds!) his almost entire axiologically negative glossary, reserved for this patriarch. The poem abounds in ironic, pejorative attributions and adjectivisations (Photios is lukava zmijurina [a big cunning snake] that says one thing and means another, he is kamen velike smutnje [a stumbling-block of great discord], born because of rasuća Crkve [the destruction of the Church] etc.) and at the very end of the poem Kanižlić completes the initial axiology on Photios, which even more strongly culminates through a complete demonisation of this patriarch (...). Kanižlić's epitaph, as a paradigmatic example of an accumulation of axiological attributions, very similar to Grabovac's octosyllabic poem Od naravi, ćudi, običaja i prignutja poloviraca aliti starokalendaraca, dedicated to Orthodox Christians. However, Grabovac, unlike Kanižlić, doesn't make such a harsh distinction between Orthodox Greeks and Slavs, so his verses refer to Orthodox Christians in Dalmatia (rišćani or rkaći), as well, about whom he writes similarly as Kanižlić about the Greeks (that is, about Photios)(...). Unlike his confrere Grabovac's, Kačić's attitude towards the Orthodox Christians is more tolerant, and therefore, he is, in that sense, more similar to Kanižlić. That similarity may be the most evident when explicitly emphasising a friendly and patronising attitude towards the Orthodox Slavs and an unfriendly attitude towards the Orthodox Greeks. Kanižlić thus finishes his Introduction to Kamen almost identically as Kačić does his prose section at the end of his poem no. 45, where he emphasises that he doesn't want to insult slovinske rišćane [Christian Slavs] (while Kanižlić doesn't want to insult other successors to the Greek rite, that is, Slavic (Orthodox) peoples). Slavonian Franciscans of the cultural circle of Buda, Bačić, Vilov and Pavić are architects and main representatives of the Croatian Franciscan 18th-century controversial theology in national language, which developed at Franciscan universities in Buda, and the encouragement for such endeavours certainly came after the Peace of Karlovac and the migration of a large number of Orthodox Christians to the area of southern Hungary and Slavonia. All of the three Franciscans, during their pastoral work, must have been in contact with Orthodox Christians. In spite of that, the target readers of the Franciscans' controversial texts aren't Orthodox Christians, but Catholics for whom such works are intended as a practical guide in a religious dialogue with Orthodox Christians. The University of Trnava, which Jesuits Juraj Mulih and Antun Kanižlić attended, was an indispensable and important factor that also influenced literary and theological work of the Croatian Jesuits in the 17th and 18th century. These influences are of crucial importance for the works of 18th-century Jesuit controversial theology, directed towards Orthodox Christians. The works of Mulih's and Kanižlić's predecessor and confrere, Jesuit Juraj Habdelić, were also strongly related to Trnava University. If we recall how important a model Habdelić was to Mulih, and thus indirectly to Kanižlić, as well, it becomes clearer why the connections between aforementioned authors, who lived a whole century apart, are much stronger than it seems at first sight. Interconfessional relationships in 18th-century Slavonia are historically relevant and a still insufficiently explored issue. Considering a low occurrence of research on confessional otherness in the area of imagology, where the problem of national identity is dominant, this thesis also aims to offer a specific, imagology-based analytical concept which could be applied in other similar studies of European confessional identities of the early modern period.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: imagology, confessional (Catholic) identity vs. (Christian Orthodox) alterity, image (auto-image, hetero-image, meta-image), Slavonia in the 18th century, Croatian 18thcentury controversial theology in national language, Catholic controversialists; Franciscans and Jesuits
Subjects: History
Departments: Department of History
Supervisor: Dukić, Davor
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij ranog novog vijeka
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 12:14
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 12:14

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