Collectivistic Christianities in the European Context
This chapter argues that collectivistic Christianities are not a phenomenon from the past, but will rather continue to exist next to more individualized and privatized forms of religiosity. The Church is the cradle of our nation, the cradle of our race, the cradle of Hellenism. The centrality of Orthodox Christianity for the collective identity of the Greeks is generally assumed to be a modern development. Many leaders of the Greek national movements held secular or even anti-clerical views, similar to their counterparts in other European societies. Religious differences did not prevent other political organizations from accepting different religious groups into their fold. The Catholic ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Union in this period, Sigismund August, had a tolerant disposition toward religious differences. The Catholic Church, though linked to political rulers and economically superior, could not claim absolute power. The Catholicization of the Polish lands and Polish collective identity only progressed with the rise of nationalisms.