Eastern Church volume of the Bishops' Encyclopaedia of the Danube Monarchy in progress!

Erbischöfliche Residenz bzw. orthodoxe theologische Fakultät in Cernowitz

Orthodoxe Kathedrale in Hermannstadt

Griechisch-katholische Kathedrale in Lemberg

Serbisch-orthodoxe Kathedrale in Szentendre

Armenisch-katholische Kathedrale in Lemberg

As of 24 May 2024, Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Mark Németh and Prof. DDr. Rupert Klieber, editor of the series "The Bishops of the Danube Monarchy 1804 to 1918", agreed that the 'Eastern Church Volume', planned as Volume IV, will be significantly expanded and that Prof. Németh will assume editorial responsibility for it.

The first volume, concerning the ecclesiastical provinces of the Kingdom of Hungary without Croatia, was published in 2020. It has meanwhile been presented in Budapest, Rome and Vienna and has already attracted great international attention. A second volume will be devoted to the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical provinces in a northern arc from Trent to Lviv (i.e. the ecclesiastical provinces of Salzburg and Vienna, Prague and Olomouc as well as Krakow and Lviv), and a third volume to the primarily Italian and Croatian southern ecclesiastical provinces between Milan and Sarajevo.

The "Eastern Church Volume" will follow the model of the already published first encyclopaedia volume and will contain biographies of all bishops belonging to the Orthodox and Catholic Eastern Churches ruling in the relevant period, as well as historical sketches of the Eastern Church metropolises and dioceses (eparchies).

The largest contingent will be 90 Orthodox bishops who were assigned to three metropolises of Karlowitz, Hermannstadt and Bukovina-Dalmatia as well as dioceses in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had been administered by Austria-Hungary since 1878.

The Greek Catholic church tradition included a further 52 bishops who were subordinate to metropolitans in Lviv and Karlsburg-Fogarasch or to the Roman Catholic archbishops of Gran and Agram. In addition, seven Armenian Catholic bishops officiated in Lviv during the period under study. The fourth encyclopaedia volume will thus contain a total of 149 biographies of bishops of Eastern Church traditions.

The preparation and editing of the biographies on the Uniate bishops has already been organised by the previous project team, which, in addition to project leader Klieber, includes the country managers Ivana Horbec (Croatia), Emília Hrabovec (Slovakia), Oleh Turiy (Ukraine) and Péter Tusor (Hungary and Transylvania). Preliminary discussions have already taken place with Prof. Dr. Paul Brusanowski (Sibiu) and Univ. Prof. Dr. Kurt Scharr (Innsbruck) on the formation of a new project team for the biographies of Orthodox bishops. Completion of the volume is planned for the end of 2025.

The volume on the Eastern Churches will for the first time offer a general overview of the origins and career, but above all of the official conduct and political action of the highest ministers of all churches of the Eastern tradition in the area of the Danube Monarchy. On the one hand, this synopsis will sharpen the view of the numerous cultural commonalities of this church scene, but also reveal the not insignificant differences and fractures within this important component of the confessional landscape of Austria-Hungary.

Thomas Németh has headed the Department of Theology and History of the Christian East at the Faculty of Catholic Theology of the University of Vienna since 2019. He completed his habilitation in 2013 with a thesis on Orthodoxy in the Danube Monarchy, systematically including the influence of state authorities in matters of worship. In this sense, the planned volume on Eastern Churches can further contribute to closing existing research gaps and demonstrate the importance of Eastern churches as outstanding cultural carriers of the Monarchy, which was not only characterised by numerous linguistic worlds, but also a diverse religious landscape.

Thomas Németh/Rupert Klieber