Ruthenian Protestants of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and their relationship with Orthodoxy, 1569-1767
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AbstractIn the 19th century when the process of formation of the modern ethnic identity in Eastern Europe started Belarus lost their educated strata, the Ruthenian elite, potential leadership of this movement. That happened for a number of reasons. Among them, there was the success of the 17th -18th century’s counter-reformation over Protestantism and Orthodoxy in Belarus and Lithuania. After 1667 the Catholicism became the sign of political loyalty to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In result step by step the Ruthenian nobility and up-class of townspeople of Orthodox and Protestant faiths adopted the Polish religious and cultural identity that the formula was: “gente ruthenus, natione polonus.” Very few have been written about ethnic Ruthenian nobility of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Samogitia (further the GDL) especially its Protestant group. The aim of this article is to present an overview on the relationship between the early modern Protestant and Orthodox parts of the Ruthenian elite and their correlated identity.
TypeArticle in journal