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The Church of Greece under Axis Occupation$
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Panteleymon Anastasakis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823261994

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823261994.001.0001

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Historical Background

Historical Background

Church–State Relations from the Ottoman Period to the Eve of World War II (1453–1939)

(p.16) 1 Historical Background
The Church of Greece under Axis Occupation

Panteleymon Anastasakis

Fordham University Press

This chapter traces church–state relations in Greek history from 1453 to the eve of World War II. This development has three important phases. During the first period (1453–1821), the patriarchs of Constantinople, exemplified by Gennadios Scholarios and Gregorios V, became ethnarchs. Second, the period of the Greek Revolution (1821–30) witnessed a division within the church and the emergence of the role of clergymen, exemplified by Papaflessas and Germanos of Patras, as rebel leaders. Third, the period between the later stages of the revolution and the eve of World War II (1827-1939) saw efforts by secular authorities, especially through the Church Constitution of 1833, to turn the church into a department of state and reduce its role to spiritual affairs; a strategy that met with only limited success. This historical background is essential for understanding the church’s response to the experience of enemy occupation during World War II.

Keywords:   Church Constitution of 1833, Church-state relations, Ethnarch, Gennadios Scholarios, Germanos of Patras, Gregorios V, Papaflessas

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