Serbian Culture the Spiritual Heritage of the Serbian Church Term Paper

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Serbian Religious Heritage

Generally speaking, Serbian society has maintained a highly traditional structure, with religious beliefs at the core of the national identity. However, locates on the leading edge of three distinct empires, the small country has traded political philosophies many times, and with each new ruler came a new set creed, and a new wave of persecution. Ancient Indians, during the time of American expansionism made and broke new alliances with tribes which were formerly enemies in order to fight against the 'white man' settlers. During this time, the proverb "the friend of my enemy is my enemy, and the enemy of my enemy is my friend." In looking at he spectrum of Serbian history this same proverb an accurately described the shifting alliances, and civil wars which have marketed their social and political history.

Serbia sits at the north eastern end of the Roman Empire. Under the forced roman expansionism, leading up to appx. 600, Christianity and roman citizenry were demanded of all subjects of the empire. This created a significant population of converted Christians in the area of modern day Serbia. However, as the Roman Empire fell, the western Christian church suffered an irrecoverable split from the Eastern Church. The latter, uncomfortable with the level to which Rome had blended political power with religious leadership, became the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Eastern Orthodox Church was geographically closer to the holy land; felt that they had maintained closer ties to genuine faith. Consequently the Bishop of Constantinople became the head of the eastern orthodox sect. Serbs, with close ties in both directions, but having more historical connection to the east, also subdivided into western Christian and Eastern Orthodox groupings.

This dual religious heritage lasted until the rise of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. The Muslims considered eastern and western Christianity to be two sides of the same coin. The Ottoman Empire conquered all of Serbia, but stretched all the way from Mesopotamia to the Danube, and westward to the Adriatic. Serbs, Greeks, Bulgars, and Albanians were subjugated, and they had no idea how…

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