The Eastern Orthodoxy and Communism in Bulgaria, 1944 – 1960

  1. Lemma
  2. Православието и комунизмът в България, 1944 – 1960
  3. Bulgarian
  4. Nachev, Ivaylo
  5. Culture and national identities
  6. 29-6-2017
  7. Чурешки, Стефан [Author]. The Eastern Orthodoxy and Communism in Bulgaria, 1944 – 1960
  8. Православието и комунизмът в България, 1944 – 1960 - Sofia: Просвета, 2004.
  9. atheism - Communism - Bulgarian Orthodox Church - historical materialism
    1. The book examined oppressions against the Christians in Bulgaria by the Communist regime in the period 1944 – 1960. It also studied the ideological struggle between historical materialism and atheism in the initial phase of the Communist regime and the imposed by the state apparatus historical materialism and atheism. The author analysed the ideological confrontation between Marxism (‘’international, non-Christian and non-Bulgarian”) and the “authentic” Bulgarian essence which is religious and Eastern Orthodox in his view. The Bulgarian identity is not in conflict with other Eastern Orthodox people in spite of the challenges of modern epoch, including contradictions created by secular politics and "secular (technocrat) scientists” (p.18). According to the author, the “natural and laboratory sciences” affirm in their philosophy pre-Christian impiety and as they have originated in Christian milieu their scientifically-based atheism attacks at first place Christian dogmas (p 40-41).      

      The text is based on the research of little known documents of the Communist Party and the Ministry of the Interior. It also employed memories of eyewitnesses of the repressions against the Christian church in the 1940s and the 1950s. In addition to the examination of specific cases the book included extensive philosophical analysis of the role of the Eastern Orthodox Church for the historical development of the societies in Southeastern Europe.    

      The author sought to identify the forces that motivated the repressions. He also elaborated on moral aspects, on questions about guilt and responsibility, on memory and forgiveness.   

      The lengthy introduction touched upon a variety of subjects, including Christianity and the Bulgarian people, challenges posed by the modern technological culture and others. The first chapter made a historical overview of the philosophical and ideological confrontation between Christianity and Marxism. The second chapter focused on the members of the clergy that lost their life, while the third – on the imprisoned priests and laymen. The fourth chapter dealt with the fate of people related with the Church in labor camps. The fifth chapter examined the relations between the Church and the Communist Party, including the removal of lessons in Orthodox Christianity from the school curriculum and various forms of constrains on the education of priests.