The Political Dynamics of Intra-Orthodox Conflict in Montenegro

  • Kenneth Morrison
  • Nebojša Čagorović
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy book series (PSRPP)


Orthodox churches in central, eastern, and Southeastern Europe have been intimately connected with the region’s dominant post-communist ideology (nationalism), and have actively engaged in national politics.1 The key to this politicoreligious character is the structural organization of Orthodox churches, which render it possible that a “national” church with specific national characteristics can develop with relative autonomy. With no centralized structure within Orthodoxy, churches become a symbol of the national being, and, thereby, rather politicized. In the Balkans, or Southeast Europe, Orthodox churches have, in some instances, supported the politics of intolerance and hate on occasion, explicitly aligned themselves to nationalist political parties or governments that have sought to create ethnically homogenous states.2 However, Orthodox churches have often been burdened by internal splits and competition from “breakaway” factions. Perhaps, one of the most striking examples is the case of the Orthodox Church conflict in Montenegro. There, the Serbian Orthodox Church (Srpska pravoslavna crkva—SPC)3 have been one of the key instruments used to maintain the Serb identity of the Montenegrins, firmly supporting the narrative that Montenegro is the “second Serb state” and the “Serbian Sparta.”


Religious Community Hate Speech North Atlantic Treaty Organization Catholic Priest Derogatory Term 
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© Gorana Ognjenović and Jasna Jozelić 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Morrison
  • Nebojša Čagorović

There are no affiliations available

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