Apibrėžimo ir tapatumo kolizija : Lietuvos karaimų socialinio statuso klausimu XIX amžiaus pirmojoje pusėje
AbstractThe paper analyses the efforts of the Lithuanian Karaim community in the first half of the 19th c. to recover the former legal and social status that had taken shape in the 14th-18th cc. during the times of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL). The Russian Empire attributed the Karaims to the non-Christian estate of citizens and applied to them laws designed for the Jewish community. However, the authorities distinguished the Karaims in terms of ethics and morals, granting them some additional social and economic benefits. Having retained its tradition of individuality, the Karaim community began a dialogue with the government that lasted for more than fifty years. It requested favourable conditions for the community’s existence and recognition of its individuality. The solution of the collision of definition and identity revealed a clash between the former ruling traditions of the GDL rulers and monarchs of the Russian Empire with respect to ethnic minorities. The dialogue resulted in a certain compromise: the Karaims’ specific status, which brought them closer to the privileged classes of society and which the Karaims expected to win, was not recognised. However, by law the Karaims were separated from the Jews and granted the rights of an urban Christian community, while their priests acquired the rights of the clergy class. The Lithuanian Karaim community received conditions to have their own religious authority and to educate and train young people.