SOCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL TRAJECTORIES IN CONCURRENT CONFESSIONAL SPACES: TRANSYLVANIA (1850 - 1918)
UEFISCDI project number PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0661
The present project therefore aims to illuminate these characteristics, by conducting a systematic quantitative analysis of the middle clergy from the Orthodox archdiocese of Sibiu and the Greek-Catholic archdiocese of Blaj, between 1850 and 1918. By creating an-initially prosopographic database of middle clergy from these two dioceses and augmenting it with information regarding social-economic background, the kinship ties, social mobility and career trajectories, the project will examine to how the clergy’s characteristics, composition, and strategies enabled them to fare in these constantly-changing environments. By covering this wide gap in current Southeast European scholarship, the project will create a model for analysis that can be applied in other regions, or for other social-professional groups.
Throughout modernity, the parish priests gradually assumed the role of intercessor between communities (parishes), ecclesiastical institutions, and state local and central level administration. In ethnically and confessionally heterogeneous regions, such as Transylvania, the parish priests not only shepherded their communities in a spiritual sense, but also took on the mantle of de-facto guides in the entangled web of nationalist movements and political affirmation. In the case of the Orthodox and Greek-Catholic denominations, dominant from a quantitative perspective during the 19th and 20th centuries, but whose adherents were politically-marginalized and wielded few mechanisms of influencing state policy, the middle clergy saw itself placed between the often competing interests and necessities of their respective churches, their (sometimes ethnically-mixed) communities, and the succeeding configurations of state power in Transylvania. The ways in which they responded to the challenges posed by these ambivalent settings should be regarded as function of their upbringing, family and social-economic background, education, and individual or group strategies.
A family of Greek-Catholic priests in Transylvania, 1908