Adrian Velicu's project

Identity and Christian Orthodoxy in post-89 Romania

Post-89 Romania has witnessed the resurgence of the Orthodox Church along with a renewed debate about cultural/national identity, all this framed by the consensus on the need for modernization. The Church’s claim to re-assert itself within the framework of the state as well as a spiritual guide has encountered a range or arguments, occasionally counter-claims, from public intellectuals and scholars. The present study of contemporary intellectual history investigates these exchanges in so far as they concern identity and modernity. The aim is to find out the extent to which ways of thinking about identity against a background of post-dictatorship emancipation expand current theories of modernity.

The investigation distinguishes between the institutional identity of the Orthodox Church and the Church’s intellectual participation in the debates on identity. The discussion explores the clergy’s arguments vis-à-vis the laymen’s, locating and elucidating the points of convergence and divergence. The resulting pattern invites further exploration of fresh approaches to modernity.