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25 March 2024

The Image of the Turk in the Orthodox Polemical Literature of the Late Sixteenth – Early Seventeenth Century

NaUKMA Research Papers. History
The Image of the Turk in the Orthodox Polemical Literature of the Late Sixteenth – Early Seventeenth Century

The article discusses the practice of using the image of the Turk as “the Other” by Orthodox polemicists from the late 16th century till the first quarter of the 17th century. The conquest of Byzantine, the status of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and the Eastern Church under the Ottomans, the eschatological dimension of “Turkish domination” — this is an incomplete range of issues that have been the subject of debate between supporters and opponents of The Union of Brest. The reason for that was the process of remembering Byzantine roots, as a form of attribution of Orthodox identity. The legitimacy of the Patriarch of Constantinople was a matter of organizational capacity of the Ruthenian Orthodox Church in the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth. An important role in this was played by the eschatological picture of the world in the texts of the polemicists — the authors emphasized the exceptional role of Rus` in defending the true faith because the Ruthenian Church was persecuted and poor. Another equally important process is the construction of the “Pole-Catholic’s” hostile image through the narrative of “Turkish domination” by Orthodox polemicists. The Khotyn military campaign (1620—1621) and the restoration process of the Ruthenian Orthodox Church hierarchy forced the Orthodox hierarchs to abandon the use of the narrative of the positive experience of “Turkish domination” and to join the creation of the idea of “Cossack bastion” (the Cossacks as defenders of not only the Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth but of the entire Christian faith). The model of the “Cossack bastion” lasted until the second half of the 17th century, when the Kyiv clergy was finally disappointed in the Cossacks as an anti-Muslim force due to the hetmans’ attraction to military-political alliances with the Ottoman Empire.

Source: Poluliakh Oksana (2020). The Image of the Turk in the Orthodox Polemical Literature of the Late Sixteenth – Early Seventeenth Century. NaUKMA Research Papers. History. 3: 65-76

Source web-site: http://nrph.ukma.edu.ua/article/view/219605/219335

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