Eastern Orthodoxy and National Indifference in Habsburg Bukovina, 1774-1873

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Leustean, Lucian N (2018)

Bukovina, a predominantly Eastern Orthodox land, today divided between northern Romania and southwestern Ukraine, was the outmost frontier of the Habsburg Empire. Between its incorporation into the Empire in 1774 and Greater Romania in 1918, Bukovina produced an unusual Church. Rather than support a mono‐ethnic Orthodox community, as evident across nation building processes in Southeastern Europe, in 1873, Romanians, Ruthenians and Serbians (in Dalmatia) established a multi‐ethnic Church which rejected association with that of their Romanian brethren in Habsburg Transylvania. This article explores the lead up to the establishment of the church in 1873 and argues that, under the leadership of Bishop Eugen Hakmann, the Metropolitanate of Bukovina and Dalmatia was a novel ecclesiastical institution in which the clergy refused national identification while laypeople supported the growing rise of nationalist movements. This multi‐ethnic Church became one of the most intriguing Orthodox structures which would impact upon the emergence of national churches in nineteenth‐century Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.
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