The Syriac Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox Churches in Austria: Inter-Church Relations and State Recognition

Authors

  • Andreas Schmoller Catholic University of Linz

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24847/v8i12020.300

Keywords:

Austria, Syriac Orthordox, Coptic Orthodox, Church

Abstract

This article explores the inter-church and church-state relations of the Syriac Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox Churches in Austria. The strong historic role of the Catholic Church in Austria's political landscape provides the central framework to understand the “story of success” regarding relations with both the Catholic Church and state authorities in Austria. Summarizing the history of migration and establishment of diaspora churches in Austria, the article explores the impact of the support of the Catholic Church in the process of institutionalization. In addition, state recognition and examples of church-state interaction are highlighted. The findings support the conclusion that minority churches from the Oriental Orthodox tradition have benefitted strongly from their relations with the majority church and the state. However, their authority in both religious and political contexts also affects personal leadership and internal affiliations which can lead to divisions within the church communities.

Author Biography

Andreas Schmoller, Catholic University of Linz

Andreas Schmoller is Historian of Contemporary History at the Catholic University of Linz/Austria and head of the Franz and Franziska Jägerstätter Institute. He is also member of the Centre for the Study of Eastern Christianity at the University of Salzburg where his research focuses on migrations and diasporas of Middle Eastern Christians. In his research he addresses questions of religious identities in biographical narratives, the political, cultural and social agency of diaspora churches and the collective remembrance of genocide and mass violence.

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Published

2021-03-02