Eastern Orthodoxy and National Indifference in Habsburg Bukovina, 1774-1873

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Bukovina, a predominantly Eastern Orthodox land, today divided between northern Romania and southwestern Ukraine, was the outmost frontier of the Habsburg Empire. Between its incorporation into the Empire in 1774 and Greater Romania in 1918, Bukovina produced an unusual Church. Rather than support a mono‐ethnic Orthodox community, as evident across nation building processes in Southeastern Europe, in 1873, Romanians, Ruthenians and Serbians (in Dalmatia) established a multi‐ethnic Church which rejected association with that of their Romanian brethren in Habsburg Transylvania. This article explores the lead up to the establishment of the church in 1873 and argues that, under the leadership of Bishop Eugen Hakmann, the Metropolitanate of Bukovina and Dalmatia was a novel ecclesiastical institution in which the clergy refused national identification while laypeople supported the growing rise of nationalist movements. This multi‐ethnic Church became one of the most intriguing Orthodox structures which would impact upon the emergence of national churches in nineteenth‐century Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1141
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number4
Early online date26 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Authors Nations and Nationalism published by Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Nation building
  • Religion
  • Romania
  • southern Europe
  • Ukraine


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