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Penser l’histoire religieuse au xxie siècle

 | 
Yves Krumenacker
, 
Raymond A. Mentzer

Transnational history as a tool for church history uniting the histories of small nations’ churches

L'histoire transnationale comme outil pour faire l’histoire des Églises des petites nations

Riho Altnurme

Résumé

Une histoire transnationale comme tentative de constituer une histoire globale offre plusieurs opportunités pour l’histoire des Églises (dans le sens d’histoire du christianisme). L’étude de la religion est transnationale par nature étant donné sa prise en compte de l’universalité des religions principales, qui dépassent les frontières des nations. Dans le cas du christianisme, la propagation et l’influence de la pensée œcuménique sont importantes car cette pensée aide à la création d’histoires œcuméniques des Églises. Au-delà de l’universalité, on peut considérer cet état d’esprit qui connecte la religion chrétienne et les États (et les peuples) avant tout comme une influence de la Réforme. La recherche de liens entre le nationalisme et la religion nécessite une approche comparative.
Les communautés transnationales sont les Églises elles-mêmes (les « communautés imaginées » de Benedict Anderson), par exemple les Frères moraves. On peut voir dans le cas des États baltes comment les Frères moraves ont franchi les frontières nationales et qu’une étude transnationale est dans ce contexte appropriée. Il existe toutefois des obstacles qui peuvent faire obstacle à une véritable histoire (des Églises) transnationale : la maîtrise (son absence) des petites langues et une approche de l’histoire centrée sur les États.

Texte intégral

An introduction to transnational history1

  • 1 This article is an elaborated version of an earlier article : Riho Altnurme, « Transnationale reli (...)
  • 2 Michael Werner, Bénédicte Zimmermann, « Beyond Comparison : Histoire Croisée and the Challenge of (...)
  • 3 Marc Bloch, « Pour une histoire comparée des sociétés européennes », Revue de synthèse historique (...)
  • 4 E.g., Pierre-Yves Saunier, Transnational History, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • 5 Akira Iriye, Pierre-Yves Saunier (éd.), The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, London, (...)
  • 6 The Yearbook of Transnational History Annual Journal. Third number is planned to appear in Sprin (...)
  • 7 Pierre-Yves Saunier, « Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition… », art. cit.

1Comparative history, the history of cultural transfers, histoire croisée, transnational history and other « relational approaches2 » are not new. At the beginning of the 20th century, Marc Bloch appealed for a comparative analysis of the past3. Today we have a comprehensive overview of the growing discipline4, a dictionary5 and a yearbook for transnational history – although only recently established6 – and faculty experts in many universities. Still it seems that transnational history may be overshadowed by global history (especially in terms of the terminology)7.

  • 8 Akira Iriye, Power and Culture : the Japanese-American War, 1941–1945, Cambridge MA, Harvard Unive (...)

2Globalization is indeed the driving force for transnational and global history, but it is also an attempt to establish common ground between nations, to find underlying cultural parallels. One may also claim that transnational history either tries to overcome nationalism or is driven by the desire to escape the domination of nationalism. Akira Iriyes’ research8 may serve as an example. He stressed multi-archival and multilingual research as a prerequisite for transnational history.

3Transnational history is self-reflective on the issue of Eurocentrism. In a way it is also a global microhistory – not just major processes are surveyed. Methodological nationalism should be left behind. Postcolonialist history is very similar in approach. In writing general history, the goal of every historian should always be to cross national and national boundaries, to write from an unbiased perspective.

4Simply put, transnational history tries to overcome national(ist) history. History does not stand here alone, but intertwines with other disciplines, such as anthropology. The experience of this discipline has been to « reverse the eye » by applying anthropological methods not only to the study of exotic cultures but also to Western societies. Jürgen Osterhammel notes the possibilities :

  • 9 Jürgen Osterhammel, « Transnationale Gesellschaftsgeschichte : Erweiterung oder Alternative ? », G (...)

Just as the methods of anthropology developed in research of non-occidental societies can be applied profitably to European subjects, so, conversely, these non-occidental societies deserve the chance to be observed in the culturally neutral categories of a general descriptive language.9

  • 10 Ibid., p. 477.

5In the history of historiography, national historiography accompanied the emergence of nation states in the 18th century. Central terms in transnational history are « streams », « flows » and « networks ». In addition to anthropology, geography is particularly important in identifying potential research projects that are not directly circumscribed by national borders. The states are replaced by pluralistic societies and multicultural metropolises, in which cultures influence each other and are transmitted. This research direction might be more precisely called knowledge transfer history. Here, often in relation to regions that were former colonies of the western world, the bearers of other civilizations have been research objects in order to determine how the contact of the indigenous intelligentsia with western civilization has changed local society. Such a transfer is transnational only if the groups involved in the transfer are identifiable10.

Colonialism and transnational historiography

  • 11 Albert Wirz, « Für eine transnationale Gesellschaftsgeschichte », Geschichte und Gesellschaft 27, (...)
  • 12 Ibid., p. 497.

6In the German discussion of transnational history, crossing the border created by the Cold War appeared to be an important way of looking at European historiography. « It seems particularly promising to me [...] that the realignment will focus on questions of mutual influence between East and West11 », noted Albert Wirz. In the study of colonialism, the question arose as to how the colonizers and the colonized influenced each other. This has not left the particularities of religion unaffected. Albert Wirz offers the example of the missionary Ferdinand Autenrieth, regarded as a god by Africans because of his white skin. Autenrieth translated the biblical name of God with the word for the spirits of the ancestors to counter the traditional belief system12. Research into colonialism and broader comparative research into conditions within Europe could also be fruitful approaches to transnational history. In this case, a starting point for the history of religion can be the treatment of missionary history in the context of the history of colonialism. If one starts with global history, where such a connection is acceptable, there is still much to be done in historical research with regard to Eastern Europe. There, the problems of the spread of religion and religious conversion are complicated by the relationship of missionaries/colonialists on one hand and the newly baptized/colonized on the other.

Religion as an object of research in transnational historiography

7In addition to the gradual social changes brought about by migration, religion, in Osterhammel's view, could be one of the most important fields of research in transnational historiography. If one assumes that religion per se has a transnational character, this seems to be of research interest. While religion, especially Christianity, has long been seen as a factor in social fragmentation, the tendency towards transnationality is emphasized today. Accordingly, Osterhammel states :

  • 13 J. Osterhammel, op. cit., p. 473. Some examples from the other parts of the world : Susanne H. Rud (...)

Man begins to rediscover the large-scale power of integration of religions that does not respect state borders. After religion, especially in its form of individual experience and piety, had become microstoria's favorite subject for a while, it once again becomes visible in its potential within the supranational order13.

  • 14 J. Osterhammel, op. cit., p. 474.

8Ecumenism is experienced again as a supra-ethnic and supra-state religious organization ; the nationalization bequeathed by Reformation, which can be found in Catholicism only beginning in the 19th century, seems to be a special case in religious history14.

  • 15 Gunilla Budde et alii (éd.), Transnationale Geschichte : Themen, Tendenzen und Theorien, Göttingen (...)
  • 16 Hans-Ulrich Wehler, « Transnationale Geschichte – der neue Königsweg historischer Forschung ? », d (...)

9The anthology of transnational history15 that was published on the occasion of Jürgen Kockas' 65th birthday has no chapter on religion, although the topic is mentioned in passing in several chapters. Comparative research into world religions remains a desideratum16.

  • 17 Hartmut Kaelble, « Europäische Geschichte aus westeuropäischer Sicht ? », in Ibid., p. 109.

10From another perspective, religion is a central factor in exploring Europe as a cultural entity. To what extent does religion cross national borders and unite Europe ? The end of the Cold War made it possible to treat Western and Eastern Europe as a single unit. It became clear that the previous, politically determined dividing lines as boundaries for research were no longer tenable. Poland and Ireland, on the one hand, and the Czech Republic or Hungary and France, on the other, have similar religious structures ; these similarities do not result from the location of the countries in the west or in the east17.

  • 18 Ibid., p. 116.
  • 19 Manfred Hildermeier, « Osteuropa als Gegenstand vergleichender Geschichte », in Ibid., p. 124. Wit (...)
  • 20 Martin Schulze Wessel, « Religion-Gesellschaft-Nation. Anmerkungen zu Arbeitsfeldern und Perspekti (...)
  • 21 Étienne François, « Europäische lieux de mémoire », in Gunilla Budde et alii (éd.), Transnationale (...)

11Secularization and the return of religious values also characterize both Western and Eastern Europe. « As a historian of Western Europe, it is better to write a history of the whole of Europe in dialogue with experts in Eastern Europe18 ». In Eastern Europe, confessional positions marked an important frontier. The Polish-Lithuanian clashes with Russia were, inter alia, confessional, with Bohemia, Czechia, and Poland forming part of Western Christianity since the 10th century. There was a clash between the religious and the spiritual worlds even in secularized 20th century Europe where religion was closely related to culture19. However, research into religion remained in the background, since the decline of religion and the emergence of secularism were seen as hallmarks of modernization, particularly in light of the work of Max Weber. « Basically, however, social modernization was seen as the governing factor in comprehensive secularization, which made religion appear as a mere residual category of modernity20 ». In today's Europe, despite the dominance of the nation state, we share places of remembrance (lieux de mémoire), some of which are religious, such as those relating to the Christianization of Europe, the Crusades, and the Catholic and Protestant Reformations21.

12In studying the history of empires, we encounter several cases in which religion has been a transnational unifying factor. In the study of the Soviet system (if you wish, empire), the subject emerges as an emphatically secular ideology, one part of which was anti-religious, a religion with a minus sign, which, however, together with the cult of state, formed a phenomenon of religion. Again, one may ask for a more in-depth study of the supranational ideology uniting the empire (this time communist) and of anti- and pseudo-religious ideologies, expressed at different levels in different parts of this empire. Of course, one can say that the study of communism is part of the history of political ideologies, but I am thinking primarily of its anti-religious and, at the same time, religion-like part. Marxist class antagonism fits in with the cultural confrontation often portrayed in colonial societies.

  • 22 Georg G. Iggers, « Modern Historiography from an Intercultural Global Perspective », in Ibid., p. (...)
  • 23 H.-U. Wehler, op. cit., p. 170.
  • 24 For example Journal of Muslims in Europe (Brill) is published since 2012.

13The notion of religion as a factor of little importance to modern society initially left out, from the perspective of the historian, important issues that were only later addressed. At the end of the 20th century, fundamentalists, even in the Western world, opposed the rationalization of society. Rationalism and irrationalism are difficult to dissociate even in today's world22. If one looks at the growing role of Islamism, one has to ask whether the culture related to Islamism can offer an alternative to the model of the Western world. « Or is there a genuine inability of Islam, especially fundamentalism, to develop and support its own target utopia of democracy and free society ? This is where appealing projects for an undogmatic transnational history arise23 ». This is a question about the cross-border capabilities of Islam, which, of course, is already being explored in today's Europe24.

  • 25 Anthony D. Smith, Chosen Peoples. Sacred Sources of National Identity, Oxford, Oxford University P (...)
  • 26 Given as an example by Dieter Langewiesche: « Nationalismus – ein generalisierender Vergleich », i (...)

14A connection between nationality and religion has long been observed in research. The study of nationality, which sometimes remains connected only to one nation, should be able to cross national borders. Key examples come from Anthony Smith and Benedict Anderson25. According to Smith, nationality is « a community of faith26 ». At the same time, this approach does not offer opportunities for a transnational approach, as nationalities are, according to Smith, not in contact.

The Moravian Brethren as a transnational community

  • 27 Gisela Mettele, « Eine “Imagined Community“ jenseits der Nation. Die Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde als (...)
  • 28 Gisela Mettele, « Eine “Imagined Community“… », art. cit., p. 49, 53.

15In the history of Protestantism, the study of Pietism and Puritanism is exceptionally transnational. A particular example of a transnational research topic in the field of religious studies is the spread and the behavior of the Moravian Brethren. For Gisela Mettele, the « relationships and movements, communication and interaction » of the Moravians, which she understands in the sense of Anderson's imagined communities, are given special consideration according to the model of Anglo-American global history27. Thus, the Moravian Brethren has been a global movement since its founding in the 18th century. According to Mettele, the Moravian communities developed independently of one another within the global community in the 19th century, and their local identities were formed at the same time. When the Moravians were confronted with the nation-state system, this conflict continued for a long time and brought
about changes for them. They were immigrants, missionaries and were apolitical, and they quickly emigrated when conditions became unfavorable28.

  • 29 Ibid., p. 54.
  • 30 Ibid., p. 66-68.

16Were the Moravians citizens of the world ? Yes and no. They were « [...] more citizens of another world than world citizens29 », says Mettele. The mission affected the inner world of the organization. In the 19th century, English in America and Danish in Denmark replaced German. The influence of German nationalism only became apparent at the end of the 19th century ; in the end, however, transnational self-confidence largely dissolved. At the General Synod in 1857, at the request of the Americans, the organization was divided into provinces (empowering provinces that existed but were not recognized as such). This example from Moravian Brethren shows that the state remains important in transnational history30.

17In the Baltic countries, the Moravian Brethren were immigrants and missionaries who wanted to involve the local people in the revival of Christian piety. According to a widespread assessment, they were one of the most important factors in the perception of Christian teaching by the native Estonians and Latvians. A similar rapprochement can be seen in later revival movements introduced by missionaries and in the free churches. In the national historiographies, the Moravians are treated under the theme of « nationalization », which removes the movement from international context.

Problems of a transnational church history in the Baltic countries

  • 31 For example : Jouko Talonen, Baznīca stalinisma žnaugos : Latvijas Evangʻēliski luteriskā bazn (...)

18Language is one of the first problems in the study of transnational church history, particularly in the Baltic countries. Local researchers read and write in their native Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian or even Russian. They also understand English and German, often Swedish and Finnish as well, but rarely does an Estonian, Latvian or Lithuanian researcher read one of the other Baltic languages. This is largely a result of the primary interest in the church history of their own country, and in this respect, the national perspective dominates. Given the broad language skills among the people of smaller nations, learning foreign languages should not be an impediment ; however, one obstacle is a lack of motivation that results from adhering to the paradigm of national historiography. The researchers who are concerned with Orthodox Christianity, however, can cross borders more easily in cooperation with Russian-speaking researchers (as it is necessary to understand Russian for this topic), and church historians from other countries who study the church history of a Baltic country also learn its language31.

  • 32 Jouko Talonen, Priit Rohtmets, « The Birth and Development of National Evangelical Lutheran Theolo (...)
  • 33 For example Siret Rutiku, Reinhart Staats (éd.), Estland, Lettland und westliches Christentum. Est (...)
  • 34 Here the projects led by Eino Murtorinne [whose initiative was the International Network for Balti (...)
  • 35 The International Research Training Group « Baltic Borderlands : Shifting Boundaries of Mind and C (...)

19It is starting to change for the better as attempts are being made to compensate for the lack of language skills through joint publication projects with contributors from different countries32. As a preparatory step, discussions at academic conferences enrich the eventual publications33. With the independence of the Baltic countries in 1991, several projects were started that tried to compensate for the lack of free research in church history during the Soviet period. The interest came from abroad as researchers from the Baltic states often met at conferences in Western or Central Europe. Northeastern European projects tried to include Eastern Europe (defined politically rather than geographically) into a wider cooperation on European church history34. Later developments included a movement towards creating transnational research networks uniting researchers around the Baltic sea (in German « Ostseeraum »)35.

  • 36 For example Robert F. Goeckel, « The Baltic Churches and the Liberalization Process », in Michael (...)
  • 37 Ulrike Plath, Esten und Deutsche in den baltischen Provinzen Russlands. Fremdheitskonstruktionen, (...)
  • 38 Reinhard Wittram (éd.), Baltische Kirchengeschichte : Beiträge zur Geschichte der Missionierung un (...)

20It is also worth noting that representatives of other nationalities, who are traditionally accustomed to seeing the Baltic peoples as a whole, often bring in the transnational perspective36. German-born scholars can also offer a view of the German and local indigenous peoples that transcends the political point of view, precisely through everyday history37. Of course, as early as 1956, the German Baltic historian Reinhard Wittram attempted to introduce a transnational perspective into Baltic Church history in a collection of works by both Germans and indigenous peoples. The authors were united by the fact that they were all exiled or repatriated under Soviet rule38. However, the approach in this book is a bit uneven.

  • 39 Jürgen Beyer, « Mis teeb eesti luterluse kultuuriajaloole huvitavaks ? », Vikerkaar, 2009, no 7-8, (...)
  • 40 Wider context is offered by Anke Andersson, « Melchior Hoffman in Dorpat und Kiel », in Siret Ruti (...)
  • 41 J. Osterhammel, op. cit., p. 470.

21Several problems arise from the poor application of transnational history in dealing with Baltic church history. The first city to adopt the Lutheran faith, Riga in 1522, still has not been the subject of substantial research. This is the problem of the periphery, based on today's nation states39. An interesting example from the time of the Reformation would be Melchior Hoffmann, originally a furrier, whose life as a preacher is connected to both Latvia and Estonia, and whose work must be read in a transnational context40. Looking at the publications on Soviet religious policy, one recognizes a problem common to research on Soviet history – the non-Russian nations are left out of picture41.

  • 42 Similar way of thinking about Estonian history : Marek Tamm, « Kellele kuulub Eesti ajalugu ? Siss (...)
  • 43 J. Beyer, op. cit., p. 81.
  • 44 Ulrike Plath, « Kadunud kuldne kese. Kuus pilti Eesti ajaloost rahvusüleses kollaažis », Vikerkaar(...)

22The lack of transnational thinking in church history poses the risk of making it difficult to see events in a larger context, particularly in smaller regions such as the Baltic countries. The transnational mindset opens the way to a broader discussion of the seemingly isolated (and small) fragments from the mosaic of history by enriching the research of national history42. This applies especially to the regions, which, from the point of view of the larger culture areas, are on the periphery43. Research into the European border regions could also be an inspiration for Baltic history and help to overcome « the black-and-white tone of the national narrative44 ».

Conclusion

23Transnational historiography offers new opportunities for church history (in the sense of the history of Christianity). Research into religions and comparative religious studies is inherently transnational, both by focusing on the universality that transcends the boundaries between nations in world religions and by the scope and impact of ecumenical thinking in Christianity. At the same time, in Christianity, there is a mindset resulting from the Reformation that binds religion to the nation. In the history of European Christianity, it makes sense to work with the categories developed in the study of colonialism and its mission. It is about the original spread of Christianity as well as contemporary developments up to migration and secularization. History is supported here by the methods of anthropology and geography. In this way, it becomes possible to overcome the confrontation between colonists and colonized within the framework of the history of the mission. Other topics are the – not nationally fixed, but comparative – exploration of the connection between nationality and religion as well as the exploration of empires, which by themselves, for example through submission, tend to transcend national borders and for this purpose religion was used. A challenge for historians of a unified Europe is the fact in religious history that similar phenomena can be found in different regions of Europe and that these can be grouped not only by geographical characteristics, but also beyond the confessional, essentially ecumenically. The Moravian Brethren is a good example of a religious community that has broken down from a universal and transnational movement into individual national movements, on which historians later focused their attention.

24There are notable problems in Baltic historiography that, in a similar form, may prevent the move to a transnational history elsewhere. Above all, there is a need for learning less widespread national languages, the acquisition of which is not motivated by national historiography. International cooperation and the networking of research can help to overcome this lack of motivation and, inspired by « outsiders », to strive for universal treatment. So many research problems that are relevant in the context of their time have thus far been neglected or are insufficiently explored due to the design of today's national borders and the resulting restriction of research policy interests. The religious history of the individual countries is difficult to understand without a broader context – just as the history of only one Christian denomination would not be complete without a comprehensive consideration of the larger history of Christianity.

Notes

1 This article is an elaborated version of an earlier article : Riho Altnurme, « Transnationale religionswissenschaftliche Forschungskonzeptionen. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Kirchen-und-Christentumsgeschichte », in Jörg Hackmann, Peter Oliver Loew (éd.), Verflechtungen in Politik, Kultur und Wirtschaft im östlichen Europa. Transnationalität als Forschungsproblem, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 2018, p. 171-181.

2 Michael Werner, Bénédicte Zimmermann, « Beyond Comparison : Histoire Croisée and the Challenge of Reflexivity », History and Theory, vol. 45, no 1 (Feb. 2006), p. 30-50.

3 Marc Bloch, « Pour une histoire comparée des sociétés européennes », Revue de synthèse historique 46, 1928, p. 15-50 ; Pierre-Yves Saunier, « Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Comments on Jürgen Osterhammel’s “Global history” », in Peter Burke, Marek Tamm (éd.), Debating New Approaches in History, London, Bloomsbury, 2019, p. 35-40.

4 E.g., Pierre-Yves Saunier, Transnational History, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

5 Akira Iriye, Pierre-Yves Saunier (éd.), The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

6 The Yearbook of Transnational History Annual Journal. Third number is planned to appear in Spring 2020. Editor, Thomas Adam is professor of transnational history at the University of Texas at Arlington.

7 Pierre-Yves Saunier, « Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition… », art. cit.

8 Akira Iriye, Power and Culture : the Japanese-American War, 1941–1945, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1981.

9 Jürgen Osterhammel, « Transnationale Gesellschaftsgeschichte : Erweiterung oder Alternative ? », Geschichte und Gesellschaft 27, 2001, no 3, p. 464–479, here 467.

10 Ibid., p. 477.

11 Albert Wirz, « Für eine transnationale Gesellschaftsgeschichte », Geschichte und Gesellschaft 27, 2001, no. 3, p. 489–498, here p. 490.

12 Ibid., p. 497.

13 J. Osterhammel, op. cit., p. 473. Some examples from the other parts of the world : Susanne H. Rudolph, James Piscatori (éd.), Transnational Religion and Fading States, Boulder, Westview Press, 1997 ; Peter van der Veer (éd.), Conversion to Modernities : The Globalization of Christianity, New York, Routledge, 1996.

14 J. Osterhammel, op. cit., p. 474.

15 Gunilla Budde et alii (éd.), Transnationale Geschichte : Themen, Tendenzen und Theorien, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006.

16 Hans-Ulrich Wehler, « Transnationale Geschichte – der neue Königsweg historischer Forschung ? », dans Gunilla Budde et alii (éd.), Transnationale Geschichte…, op. cit., p. 167.

17 Hartmut Kaelble, « Europäische Geschichte aus westeuropäischer Sicht ? », in Ibid., p. 109.

18 Ibid., p. 116.

19 Manfred Hildermeier, « Osteuropa als Gegenstand vergleichender Geschichte », in Ibid., p. 124. With the hint to Samuel P. Huntingtons famous « The Clash of Civilizations ».

20 Martin Schulze Wessel, « Religion-Gesellschaft-Nation. Anmerkungen zu Arbeitsfeldern und Perspektiven moderner Religionsgeschichte Osteuropas », Konfession und Nationalismus in Ostmitteleuropa. Kirchen und Glaubensgemeinschaften im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Nordost-Archiv. Zeitschrift für Regionalgeschichte VII, 1998, Heft 2, p. 353.

21 Étienne François, « Europäische lieux de mémoire », in Gunilla Budde et alii (éd.), Transnationale Geschichte…, op. cit., p. 297.

22 Georg G. Iggers, « Modern Historiography from an Intercultural Global Perspective », in Ibid., p. 87.

23 H.-U. Wehler, op. cit., p. 170.

24 For example Journal of Muslims in Europe (Brill) is published since 2012.

25 Anthony D. Smith, Chosen Peoples. Sacred Sources of National Identity, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003 and Benedict Anderson, The Spectre of Comparisons. Nationalism, Southeast Asia and the World, Londres, Verso, 1998, p. 360.

26 Given as an example by Dieter Langewiesche: « Nationalismus – ein generalisierender Vergleich », in Gunilla Budde et alii (éd.), Transnationale Geschichte…, op. cit., p. 176.

27 Gisela Mettele, « Eine “Imagined Community“ jenseits der Nation. Die Herrnhuter Brüdergemeinde als transnationale Gemeinschaft », Geschichte und Gesellschaft 32, 2006, no 1, p. 45-68, here 46. See also the article by the same author : « Spiritual Kinship. The Moravians as an International Fellowship of Brothers and Sisters (1730s-1830s) », in Christopher H. Johnson, David Warren Sabean, Simon Teuscher, Francesca Trivellato (éd.) Transregional and Transnational Families in Europe and Beyond : Experiences Since the Middle Ages, New York, Berghahn Books, 2011, p. 155-174.

28 Gisela Mettele, « Eine “Imagined Community“… », art. cit., p. 49, 53.

29 Ibid., p. 54.

30 Ibid., p. 66-68.

31 For example : Jouko Talonen, Baznīca stalinisma žnaugos : Latvijas Evangʻēliski luteriskā baznīca padomju okupācijas laikā no 1944. līdz 1950. gadam, Riga, Luterisma mantojuma fonds, 2009.

32 Jouko Talonen, Priit Rohtmets, « The Birth and Development of National Evangelical Lutheran Theology in the Baltics from 1918 to 1940 », Journal of Baltic Studies, 45, 2014, no 3, p. 345-373 or Priit Rohtmets, Valdis Teraudkalns, « Taking Legitimacy to Exile : Baltic Orthodox Churches and the Interpretation of the Concept of Legal Continuity during and after the Soviet Occupation of the Baltic States », Journal of Church and State, 58, no 4, Fall 2016, p. 633-665.

33 For example Siret Rutiku, Reinhart Staats (éd.), Estland, Lettland und westliches Christentum. Estnisch-Deutsche Beiträge zur Baltischen Kirchengeschichte, Kiel, Friedrich Wittig Verlag, 1998 or series published from 2009 to 2012 : Matthias Asche, Werner Buchholz, Anton Schindling (éd.), Die Baltische Lande im Zeitalter der Reformation und Konfessionalisierung. Livland, Estland, Ösel, Ingermanland, Kurland und Lettgallen. Stadt, Land und Konfession 1500-1721, Münster, Aschendorff Verlag, 2002.

34 Here the projects led by Eino Murtorinne [whose initiative was the International Network for Baltic Church Historians, established in 2000 (http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/pro/inbch/)], Jens Holger Schjørring, Hartmut Lehmann, Peter Maser (series of conferences and publications 2001-2007, first of them : Peter Maser, Jens Holger Schjørring (éd.), Zwischen den Mühlsteinen. Protestantische Kirchen in der Phase der Errichtung der kommunistischen Herrschaft im östlichen Europa, Erlangen, Martin Luther Verlag, 2002) and particularly the EU project « Churches and European Integration » (http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/pro/cei/, 2001-2004), led by Aila Lauha, have been helpful.

35 The International Research Training Group « Baltic Borderlands : Shifting Boundaries of Mind and Culture in the Borderlands of the Baltic Sea Region » (2009-2018), led by Michael North, has been an interdisciplinary initiative. As a result of this trend a book of 1052 pages appeared : Heinrich Assel, Johann Anselm Steiger, Axel E. Walter (éd.), Reformatio Baltica. Kulturwirkungen der Reformation in den Metropolen des Ostseeraums, Berlin/Boston, De Gruyter, 2017.

36 For example Robert F. Goeckel, « The Baltic Churches and the Liberalization Process », in Michael Bourdeaux (éd.), The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, Armonk, NY, M.E. Sharpe, 1995, p. 202-225 and more recently Robert F. Goeckel, Soviet Religious Policy in Estonia and Latvia. Playing Harmony in the Singing Revolution, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2018.

37 Ulrike Plath, Esten und Deutsche in den baltischen Provinzen Russlands. Fremdheitskonstruktionen, Lebenswelten, Kolonialphantasien 1750-1850, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 2011. This monograph is Church historical only to some extent. It is also interesting to mention that some of the transnational research by Central and Eastern European scholars was published in series titled Beiträge zur ostdeutschen Kirchengeschichte (Contributions to East German church history).

38 Reinhard Wittram (éd.), Baltische Kirchengeschichte : Beiträge zur Geschichte der Missionierung und der Reformation, der evangelisch-lutherischen Landeskirchen und des Volkskirchentums in den baltischen Landen, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1956.

39 Jürgen Beyer, « Mis teeb eesti luterluse kultuuriajaloole huvitavaks ? », Vikerkaar, 2009, no 7-8, p. 82.

40 Wider context is offered by Anke Andersson, « Melchior Hoffman in Dorpat und Kiel », in Siret Rutiku, Reinhart Staats (éd.), Estland, Lettland und westliches Christentum. Estnisch-Deutsche Beiträge zur Baltischen Kirchengeschichte, Kiel, Friedrich Wittig Verlag, 1998, p. 103-117.

41 J. Osterhammel, op. cit., p. 470.

42 Similar way of thinking about Estonian history : Marek Tamm, « Kellele kuulub Eesti ajalugu ? Sissejuhatavaid märkmeid », Vikerkaar, 2009, no 7-8, p. 65.

43 J. Beyer, op. cit., p. 81.

44 Ulrike Plath, « Kadunud kuldne kese. Kuus pilti Eesti ajaloost rahvusüleses kollaažis », Vikerkaar, 2009, no 7-8, p. 98.

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University of Tartu (Estonie)

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