|This volume is a collection of papers and articles by Peter F. Sugar from different years untied by the overarching question of the relationship between nationalism, politics, and religion in Eastern Europe since the nineteenth century. Three essays are of particular importance and interest. All of them are comparative, either implicitly or explicitly.
14.1 The Historical Role of religious Institutions in Eastern Europe and Their Place in the communist party-State (VIII, 33-58)
In this essay Sugar examines different patterns of the relationship between religious institutions (Orthodox Church, Catholic Church and Muslim community) and the communist regimes that were according to the author ‘anti church’ in their nature. The author attempts to explain the differences in these patterns by the existence of several historical traditions of church-state relationship, and also by the existence of distinct national traditions. As the essay is attempts to assess chances of different national churches and religious institutions to challenge communist regime, the historical development of church-state relationship in the region is viewed retrospectively.
14.2 Nationalism and Religion in the Balkans since the 19th Century (IX, 7-50)
In this essay Sugar provides an overview of the history of Balkan nationalisms and locates religion in this context. He starts with the description of the millet system in the Ottoman Empire and its meaning for the national movements in the region. The main emphasis is made on the long 19th century, when ‘nationalism joined religion in the Balkans as a self-identifying criterion” (28). The essay continues with somewhat less detailed discussion of the twentieth century developments and then focuses on the break-up of Yugoslavia from the point of view of the use and abuse of religion during the conflict. This study of Sugar provides brief but not superficial overview of important trends in the development of almost all Balkan nationalisms, which can be of a great use for someone who seeks to find a comparative perspective.
14.3 Religion, Nationalism and Politics in East-Central Europe (X, 1-17)
In this essay Sugar approaches the issue of inter-relatedness of religion and nationalism in a theoretical manner and asks himself a question: ‘When did religion cease to be the major consideration dictating political action in East-Central Europe?’ Answering this question the author talks about explicit modern nature of nationalism as phenomenon and refers to the concept of Konfessions-Nationalität developed by Emanuel Turczynski. Read together with the previous two texts this article provides a theoretical analytical framework for the discussion of nationalism and religion in Central and South-Eastern Europe.