Bulgarian revival Identifications - the Christianity Applications

Bulgarian revival Identifications - the Christianity Applications

Nikolay Chernokozhev

The text examines the applications and usage of the faith as a factor for building of the national identity. The faith can be complete and determining factor in the shaping of identification fundament and identification strategies only when a high level of its assimilation/confession is reached, as well as a certain standard of understanding, which should be ready of mass diffusion and the settling in great community's consciousness.

It is namely this situation when the faith can be used in its maximum high identification-constructive potential.

For the Balkan 19th century the faith becomes one of the crucial marks for integration and separation, and turns out to be an argument for ethnic self-declaring. The religious differences and proximity among the peoples in the Ottoman Empire are significant both in vertical and horizontal aspect.

In the mass consciousness there is a popular, easy to be used image of the faith. It is constructed through different as gender texts - written and oral. The accent in this study is posed namely on the texts whish simplify basic postulates of the faith and bring them to the mass listener and reader consciousness, avoiding the intellectual theological quarrels, manipulating with the faith application at the sector of its original potential. This is the reason to treat here the Revival literature works that are facts in the public sphere and are realized in public consciousness. And this is why the written but not published works are only mentioned but not carefully interpreted.

The study recognizes the importance of the "faith-past" relation without describing the complex correlation between the national historiography project with the Orthodoxy. The significance of the faith is followed in three dimensions and in the context of three narraions:

Bulgarians meeting the Christianity, their Baptizing;

What is Christianity for Bulgarians - how Christian epistle is utilized in the everyday moral, as well as in the great project of national Revival;

How are the others recognized in their confessional difference and how they are pronounced by the Bulgarian voice.

Everything that is marked as a factor for the building and fastening of the identification beginnings is also closed to the beginnings of the faith.

At the same time those deviations of the norm are examined, which are important not only for their significance but also for their biased radical evaluations. The "Botev" case shows us how a total re-estimation of the faith's importance at the creation of identification construct can be reached; how the features of the negative appearance of the faith institutions can provoke a need of search for free of faith spheres, that can demonstrate the authenticity of the national specifics. In Botev's understanding the faith incorporates to the great cultural communities, but also takes away the reasons for any cultural difference. Measuring the accumulated and lost so far, Botev gets to the conclusion about the fatal results from the Bulgarian baptizing. (It is interesting to note, that in the 1870s in a long interview made by Ivan Sarandev the novelist Emilian Stanev concluded that the better decision for accepting Christianity would had been the commitment with Rome, not with Constantinople.)

For the time of Revival is important the understanding of the faith as a way to the liberty, the engagement of the faith (in its institutional width) with the state. Though as if in such an engagement the own features of the faith were lost, but not the idea for state building.

The image or images of the faith are closely connected to the Bible potential, often artistic, and that is the way a world of light and glory was build, a world made of Bulgarian voice.