Orthodoxy and the Cold War: religion and political power in Romania, 1947-65

Lucian Leustean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book examines the unique dynamics between Orthodoxy and politics in Romania. It provides an accessible narrative on church-state relations in the early Cold War period within a wider timeframe, from the establishment of the state in 1859 to the rise of Nicolae Ceausescu in 1965. In the 1950s Romania began to distance itself from Moscow's influence, developing its own form of communism. Based on new archival resources, the book argues that Romanian national communism, outside Moscow's influence, had an ally in a strong Church. It addresses the following questions: How did the Church, which openly opposed communism in the interwar period, survive the atheist regime? How did the regime use religion to its political advantage? What was the Church's influence on Romanian politics? The book analyses the political interests of the Romanian Orthodox Church and its religious diplomacy with actors in the West, in particular with the Church of England.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-230-59494-4
ISBN (Print)978-0-230-21801-7
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2008


  • orthodoxy
  • politics
  • Romania
  • church-state relations
  • Cold War
  • Nicolae Ceauşescu
  • Moscow's influence
  • communism
  • Church
  • West
  • Church of England


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