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Lecture 10

SLAVC 90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Moravian Church, Slavic Christianity, Slavic Languages

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Roman Koropeckyj

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Slavic 90
Lecture 10: Slavic Christianity and the Mission of Saints Cyril (Constantine) and Methodius
- people of Hussite tradition easier to sway towards Protestantism during Reformation
- Luther explicitly viewed Hus as predecessor
- Shevchenko (Ukrainian national poet) wrote about Hus and his martyrdom, viewed him as
a great hero because of his defense of the truth (refusal to back down from beliefs)
- Hus reformed alphabet, added haceks (š, č, ž, ě, ř)
- rise of specifically Czech Protestant groups that descended directly from Hus’s teachings
(Moravian Brethren-- similar to Amish)
- Brethren motto-- simplicity, joy, unobtrusiveness, respect for the individual, fellowship
- reforms of Komensky-- developed systems of teaching children widely used in the west
even in the modern day (basis)
- learn foreign language through vernacular
- introducing objects to child
- learning is a pleasure rather than a task
- education universal-- not reserved for elite
- legend of founding of Prague-- princess Libuse who looked out from castle at Vyšehrad,
envisioned magnificent Czech kingdom on land visible to her
- princess marries plowman; importance of commoners in Czech national identity,
blending of royalty and plebeian
- comes from manuscript discovered in 1817 by Vaclav Hanka (who also discovered
another called the Book of Green Mountain)
- both manuscripts were forgeries based on folklore; created/reimagined Czech
mythical history
- Masaryk (later the Czech interwar leader) denounced for saying that manuscripts
were forgeries
- to this day, a willingness to believe in the truth of the manuscript because of they
glorify supposed golden age, unifying national myth
- east and west Christians both celebrate a holiday for Saints Cyril and Methodius, unusual in
that most saints associated with particular sect; Cyril and Methodius are Slavic saints rather
than specifically Catholic or Eastern
- Charles IV revived tradition of Cyril and Methodius, gave sermons in Old Slavonic
(language of Cyril and Methodius, eastern Christian equivalent to Latin)
- Slavia Romana = western Christianity, centered in Rome
- Slavia Orthodoxa = eastern Christianity, centered into Constantinople
- Protestantism played important role in national consciousness in Slovaks and Slovenes;
translation of Bible important in developing identity (encompasses language and religion)
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