Editura Universitara The Orthodox Church and Romanian Society in a Century of History

ISBN: 978-606-28-0899-0

DOI: 10.5682/9786062808990

Publisher year: 2019

Edition: I

Pages: 230

Publisher: Editura Universitara

Author: Constantin Claudiu Cotan

Product Code: 9786062808990 Do you need help? 0745 200 718 / 0745 200 357
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This volume includes among its covers a few pages from the troubled history of the last century, a century in which the Romanians knew all the tragedies that struck Europe and even the whole world. In recent decades, Romanians have gone through the sufferings of wars, dictatorships and revolts that have tested their faith and hope in God. Romania received from God the chance that, in the first half of the last century, it would be ruled by an exceptional political class, to enjoy the achievements of a remarkable intellectuality and the gentleness and advice of a valuable Orthodox priesthood. 
A century after the Great Union, it was appropriate to make a stop to commemorate those people who, unlike today's politicians, have successfully managed to respond to the great historical moments. The Orthodox Church, which identified with the aspirations of the Romanians and contributed in the critical moments to the strengthening of the faith in God, the one who loves his people, also brought his own offering to the fulfillment of our nation. 

Rev. Conf. Dr. Constantin Claudiu Cotan

was born in 1967, in Tismana, Gorj County.
He attended the courses of the Theological Seminary in Craiova (1984-1989).
His theological training continued at the Faculty of Theology in Bucharest (1990-1993), where in 2001 he obtained the title of Doctor of Theology with the thesis: Ortodoxia si miscarile de emancipare nationala din sud-estul Europei in secolul al XIX-lea.  (Orthodoxy and the national emancipation movements in Southeast Europe in the 19th century.)
Between 1991-1996 he attended the courses of the Faculty of History, University of Bucharest, where after defending his thesis: Biserica Ortodoxa Romana in timpul Primului Razboi Mondia (The Romanian Orthodox Church during the First World War), he obtained the title of Doctor of History.
Father Claudiu Cotan is an associate professor at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Constanta.
Among his most important works we mention: Ortodoxia si miscarile de emancipare nationala din sud-estul Europei in secolul al XIX-lea (Orthodoxy and national emancipation movements in southeastern Europe in the nineteenth century), Bizantina Publishing House, Bucharest, 2004; Istoria Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane, 1600-2000. Studiu introductiv (History of the Romanian Orthodox Church, 1600-2000. Introductory study), Vasiliana'98 Publishing House, Iasi, 2009; Biserica si Statul. Biserica Ortodoxa in secolul al XX-lea (Consideratii generale) (The Church and the State. Orthodox Church in the twentieth century (General considerations), Vasiliana'98 Publishing House, Iasi, 2009; O istorie a Bisericilor Ortodoxe Slave (History of the Slavic Orthodox Churches), Vasiliana'98 Publishing House, Iasi, 2009.

Foreword / 7

I.P.S. Archbishop Prof. Dr. Teodosie Petrescu
Romanian Orthodox Church in the twentieth century. Martyrdom and resistance / 9

Prof. Dr. Nechita Runcan
Metropolitan Gurie Grosu - outstanding personality of the union of Bessarabia with the Motherland (1918) / 14

Prof. Univ. Dr. Alin Ciupala
Thalia and Melpomene in the Great War. Theater performances organized by Romanian officers imprisoned in German camps / 27

Pr. Conf. Dr. Octavian Mosin
Priest Alexandru Baltaga - the Bessarabian martyr, signatory of the Great Union / 38

Rev. Conf. Dr. Constantin Claudiu Cotan
Metropolitan Vladimir Repta and the contribution of the Orthodox clergy from Bucovina to the Great Union (1918) / 45

Conf. Univ. Dr. Ion Gumenai
Religious affiliation as an indication of national identity. The case of religious minorities in Bessarabia / 55

Rev. Conf. Dr. Constantin Claudiu Cotan
The national unity of the Romanians in the politico-religious thinking of the scholar Simeon Marcovici (1802-1877) / 72

Gabriela Dristaru
Romanian-Russian relations between 1878-1888 / 80

Erica Ioja
Gypsies in Nicolae Grigorescu's painting: between realism and orientalism / 117

Rev. Conf. Dr. Constantin Claudiu Cotan
The socialist movement and Christianity in the theological thinking of the archpriest Constantin Nazarie / 143

Lecturer. Dr. Dumitru Carabas
Constanta churches under construction on December 1, 1918 / 151

Prof. Dr. Adrian Vasilache
The church and totalitarian regimes in Europe in the twentieth century. An introduction to the study of the topic / 166

Prof. Univ. Dr. Gheorghe F. Anghelescu, Assist. Dr. Ionut Chircalan
The unity of faith and nation in the context of a globalized world / 185

Rev. Conf. Dr. Constantin Claudiu Cotan
Anti - communist resistance from Tismana locality, Gorj county / 191

Pr. Drd. Andrei Hera
Monastic life in the Diocese of Arges / 199

Pr. Drd. Constantin Ene
Pastoring of Bishop Iosif Gafton of Ramnic and Arges / 207

Pr. Drd. Cosmin Pana
From the life and pastorate of the great hierarch Visarion Puiu / 215

Rev. Conf. Dr. Constantin Claudiu Cotan
The pastoring of Patriarch Teoctist Arapasu and the last years of the communist dictatorship / 221


The centenary year 2018 was honored by all Romanians by commemorating the events that led to the fulfillment of a great political ideal. The great Union succeeded by the generation of 1918 is to this day the most important political fulfillment for which an entire people has sacrificed itself. Although it lasted only two decades, Greater Romania continues to be seen as an achievement that was due not only to the sacrifices on the front during World War I, but also to the ability shown by Romanian politicians in the peace negotiations that followed. and which laid the foundations of today's Europe. Romania had in the first half of the last century an exceptional political class and a remarkable intellectuality. Along with them was the Romanian Orthodox clergy, which Romanian society saw as the catalyst for the struggle for national ideals, the unity of the people and the progress of the country.
The establishment of the communist regime, in fact a political regime of import and totally foreign to the Romanians, placed our country in an unequal partnership with communist Russia which dictated for three decades the policy in Bucharest and totally controlled the Romanian economy. The Romanian communists adopted the same attitude towards the Orthodox Church as the Stalinist regime which sought to eliminate the Orthodox clergy whom it had persecuted for decades through prisons and executions and deportations to the Siberia gulags. Romanian priests were also thrown into prisons and labor camps, most of which have never returned home. The hatred of the communist dictatorship destroyed people but also holy places with the disappearance of which pages of our country's history were lost. The communist regime was opposed to any form of spiritual life.
The fall of communism restored the freedom of our people, and this was enjoyed primarily by the Orthodox Church, the only institution that resisted the totalitarian dictatorship. The following years proved the ability of the clergy to adapt to the new requirements. The church came to be present again in schools, the army, hospitals and in social establishments. She herself became a protector of those tried by life for whom she set up schools, dispensaries and charities. His concern was also extended to Romanians settled abroad, so that today's image of the Church is totally different from that of the communist dictatorship.
Wanting to participate together with other institutions in honoring the history of our country at the turn of a century since the unification of all Romanians, the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at Ovidius University in Constanta organized on October 28, 2018, the international conference: 1918-2018. The Orthodox Church and Romanian society in a century of history. In addition to the papers presented by the teachers from our faculty in the volume, we also find the studies prepared by professors and doctoral students from other faculties in the country and abroad. We wanted to pay tribute to those who fought and sacrificed for our people, for the freedom we enjoy today.

Rev. Conf. Dr. Constantin Claudiu Cotan,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology,
"Ovidius" University of Constanta



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