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Patria Lost And Chosen People: The Case Of The Seventeenth-Century Bohemian Protestant Exiles

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Chapter Summary

The concept of a chosen people or elect nation and its role in the formation of early modern "national consciousness" has recently been discussed in several important studies. Rudolf Urbanek noted especially an Utraquist manifesto from 1469 where, in the context of the war with Matthias Corvinus, Bohemians were once again presented as a people chosen by God. The Bohemian discourse of chosenness builds both on biblical parallels and allusions and on the reactivation of Hussite symbolism. To be sure, the Bohemian and Moravian exiles were far from using a single political-religious language, namely that of Hebraic patriotism. The experience of the Bohemian revolt, of its defeat and the subsequent exile of the Protestants from Bohemia and Moravia reinforced eschatological and apocalyptic expectations and produced a specific discourse of what the author has proposed to term "defensive chosenness," which used the language of so-called Hebraic patriotism.

Keywords: Bohemian Protestant exiles; Hebraic patriotism; Moravia; Rudolf Urbanek



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