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    STUDIA HISTORIA - Issue no. Sp. Issue / 2012  

Authors:  .
  Abstract:  The Confessional Identity of the Transylvanian Saxons (1848-1920). The article examines the trusted historiographical idea that in the time between the Revolution of 1848-1849 and the First World War, the vital factor of the national, cultural, educational, social and religious life of the community of Transylvanian Saxons has been the Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession. In fulfilling our purpose we present and analyse how the Saxon cultural and ecclesiastical elite, trough it’s most relevant statements and publications, defined and redefined the identity of this Transylvanian community in the second half of the XIXth century. These confessional and political ideas were diffused to the large Saxon population trough the institutional body of their Lutheran Church. By the adoption of the Church Constitution (Kirchenverfassung) of 1861, the Evangelical Church of the Transylvanian Saxons asserted its independent and autonomous character in relation to the state, and its national character in relation to its own people. According to the constitutional provisions the laymen were part of all administrative, executive and legislative organisms of the Church with equal representation to the clergymen; hence the laity became an active factor in managing all churchly affairs. Trough the fact that it controlled much of the nations landed and financial assets and it managed the educational school system and most of the people’s associations, the Evangelical Church played a special part in forming the opinions, the mentality and the German national character of the Transylvanian Saxons. The paper concludes that taking it upon itself to defend their nationality, religion and German culture, the Evangelical Church of A.C. of Transylvania became a national church, whose identity was invested and defined with a clear German national nuance, from the ethnical standpoint, and with a Protestant, Evangelic-Lutheran, one from the denominational viewpoint.

Keywords: Evangelical Church of A.C. in Transylvania, religion and nationality, Georg Daniel Teutsch, Friedrich Teutsch, Jakob Rannicher, Adolf Schullerus 

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