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Patriotism And Elect Nationhood In Early Modern Hungarian Political Discourse

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Chapter Summary

While the conception of elect nationhood as a &t;metahistorical&t; interpretative tool is usually linked to Protestantism, the &t;providentialist&t; narrative of &t;national history&t; was present prior to the Reformation. The sixteenth-century Hungarian thematizations of elect nationhood were much more centered on the analogical interpretation of history, drawing a parallel between the destiny of Hungary and Israel of the Old Testament. The "nationalization" of Protestant popular and political culture was especially tangible in the territories of the emerging principality of Transylvania. The transformation of religious discourse was rooted in the deeper intellectual shifts of the European spiritual landscape. Together with János Keserui Dajka (1580-1633), Bethlen's principal advisor on educational issues, Péter Alvinczi (ca. 1570-1634) was the most important catalyst of this intellectual re-orientation. The greatest figure of the Hungarian Counter-Reformation, Péter Pázmány (1570-1637), Archbishop of Esztergom from 1616, also relied on the &t;national discourse&t; to legitimize his position.

Keywords: elect nationhood; Hungarian Israel; Péter Alvinczi; Protestantism; Transylvania



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