TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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Church, Nation and State at the Frontiers of Christianity: Polish and Russian Institutional Experiences (II): The Chosen People and Their Mission
The evolution of the two institutions that ensured the indispensable continuity for the succession of the classical world in relation to the developments of modernity, the state and the church, evolves on specific coordinates in Central and Eastern Europe, both in relation to the paradigms of northwestern Christianity, accepted as such by medieval studies, as well as to the political and spiritual universe under the nominal authority of the Byzantine emperor and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Regarding the first one, historians reconstructed the evolution towards the territorial state through assuming responsibilities in relation to the interests and aspirations of the inhabitants for the benefit of the territorial monarchy; regarding Byzantium, political atomization, impact with the classical crusade and spiritual dilemmas made its survival a priority for the Orthodox political and religious elite. The collapse of state authority and the institutional crisis increased by the Mongol invasion led to favorable circumstances for a moral regeneration that rendered the church the sole depository of national identity, in the ethno- confessional sense of the concept and bestowed it with the authority to legitimize the political initiatives that led to the restoration of the Kingdom of Poland by the coronation of a Piast sovereign and the unification of Russian principalities under the authority of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Some modern historians state that in the West the state created the nation, but at the opposite end of the continent the nation created the state under the guidance of the word from the pulpit, and this avant la lettre civic commitment of the clergy, assumed by virtue of its responsibilities to the existence of believers can be documented both at the institutional level, in the sense of establishing a functional alliance between the throne and the altar, and especially in terms of subsuming the state agenda to the larger spiritual mission.