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Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Uses of the Past in Contemporary Greece
Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cyprus, PO Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus
Received: 15 March 2011; in revised form: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 4 May 2011 / Published: 11 May 2011
Abstract: The article examines the use of Orthodox Christianity in the debates over the cultural heritage of contemporary Greece. Since the birth of modern Greece, Orthodox Christianity has been used as one of the foundational cultural markers for the construction of Modern Greek national identity. This employment of religion is particularly evident in the case of history in its popularized format. In contemporary cultural politics, debates over the building of a mosque in Athens or the role of Orthodoxy in history textbooks offer particular illustrations of the public significance of Orthodox Christianity. This high profile role was particularly pronounced during the reign of the late Archbishop Christodoulos (1998–2008). The article suggests that the engagement and influence of the Church on public debates depends upon the nature of the affair: The Church enjoys more authority in ecclesiastical issues and is far less influential on issues of broader interest, such as geopolitical disputes.
Keywords: Eastern Orthodox Christianity; heritage; Greece; politics; culture
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Roudometof, V. Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Uses of the Past in Contemporary Greece. Religions 2011, 2, 95-113.
Roudometof V. Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Uses of the Past in Contemporary Greece. Religions. 2011; 2(2):95-113.
Roudometof, Victor. 2011. "Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Uses of the Past in Contemporary Greece." Religions 2, no. 2: 95-113.