The Bioethical and Therapeutic Dimensions of Faith and Science
Alba Iulia
May, 13-15, 2024

The relations between Christians and Jews in the Eastern Roman Empire

Viorel Popa, University of Oradea

The relations between Christians and Jews in the Eastern Roman Empire (centuries IV-VI)

This study presents the relationship between Christians and Jews in the first centuries. Between Christians and Jews there was coexistence, competition and conflict in the geographical area of the East Greek (IV-VI centuries). After the proclamation of Christianism as state religion in 395, many actions of the eastern roman Emperors were taken to protect the new religion. Judaism and Paganism were restrained through legislation and political measures. The tensions between Christian and Jews have been resolved by the emperors, but with many difficulties. Some imperial letters to the praetorian prefect of the Orient province are a key to understanding the emperor’s politics toward Jews and Pagans in IV and V centuries. Imperial legislation concerning to relations between Christians and Jews is composed of letters addressed to governors and prefects of the Roman provinces. These letters have resulted from pressure on the imperial court by Christians and Jews equally and they express emperor’s concern that peace and unity in the Empire to be kept at all costs. Oppressed Christians or Jews must be protected of the state authorities. The attitude of emperor Theodosius the Second toward Jews was favourable, according to the sources of the time. The emperor insisted to the observation of the laws and to de punishment of the instigators to violence. The attitude of the Roman emperors was to restrict Christian hostility towards citizens who had other faith and try to achieve a balance in interfaith relations.

Keywords: letters, governors, prefects, Pagans, emperor, legislation.

State and Church in World War II

Alin Albu“1 Decembrie 1918” University, Alba Iulia

State and Church in World War II. The political and ecclesiastical perspective on the national vocation of the Orthodox clergy

For the Romanians, the years of World War II were extremely difficult from a political point of view, marked by territorial losses and profound metamorphoses (abdications, government falls, Romania’s involvement in the war), which generated and maintained a severe political and economic insecurity. In such conditions, the State appealed to the Church, in which it identified the warrantor of preserving the vigour of the national feeling, so necessary in war circumstances and also the most credible partner in ensuring an internal stability from a national and social point of view. The clergy was now defined in the Government’s documents as one of the most important socio-professional categories, a genuine cohesion factor, which kept effective control over the masses, its spiritual and social assistance being considered an important part in the work of consolidating the country.

The reaction of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to this appeal was a positive one: the clergy was impelled to keep alive the national conscience, to preserve the ethnical being, to answer the State’s appeals and fulfill the pastoral vocation, as well as ”the national mission”.

Besides the vision of the political leaders and of the ecclesiastical hierarchy on the relation State-Church, on the national vocation of the priests, on the role of the Church in the Romanian society during war, it is interesting to analyse how these elements were assumed at the level of the conscience of the clergy and of some representatives of the local ecclesiastical bodies (the Orthodox Vicarage in Alba Iulia). It is also interesting to note the attitude of the clergy toward war.

We attempted to recompose (partially) the picture of these realities, based not on the existent bibliography, but on some inedited archive research, selecting a few samples out of the multitude of those to be found in the dossier of the problematics.

 Key words: World War II, the relation State-Church, the Vicarage of Alba Iulia, Orthodox hierarchy, national conscience.