Author Topic: The Curious Case Of The Bosnian Church  (Read 425 times)

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Offline Minnesotan

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The Curious Case Of The Bosnian Church
« on: September 28, 2015, 07:53:32 PM »
Here's an interesting historical tidbit:

Bosnian Church

Apparently Bosnia had an independent church during the medieval era. Polemicists during that time frequently accused it of having Bogomilist, Cathar, or dualist leanings.

More recently, however, this assertion has been challenged by some historians who argue that it was made up as a pretext to justify crusades against Bosnia. They argue that the Bosnian Church was essentially small-o orthodox and was not dualist.

Which raises the question of how to classify it. Who were these Bosnians, and did their church have any saints? If so, should they be commemorated today (and which jurisdiction should do so)? That depends on whether the Bosnian Church was:

  • OO, or at least similar to them in some respects (which would explain why neither the Byzantines or Latins liked them at the time).
  • ACOTE-like ("Nestorian"). That might explain why they were labeled as dualists.
  • A remnant of the Orthodox West, that refused to cooperate with the changes in the rest of the Latin world and remained as it had been during the 1st millennium. This would mean the Bosnian Church was what we would today call Western Rite Orthodox. If this were the case, then the reason the Byzantines called them heretics might have had to do more with bigotry than anything else (keep in mind that even today, there are some Byzantine EO extremists who deny that WRO are "really" Orthodox).
  • A non-canonical jurisdiction that formed for nationalistic reasons (sort of like today's UOC-KP).
  • A church that attemped to remain neutral in the Great Schism (due to being sandwiched in between), but ended up being vilified by both sides because of it.
  • Proto-Protestants (I personally think this is extremely unlikely, since you can't really have Protestantism without the printing press*, but there have been some "Trail of Blood"/"Pilgrim Church" types who claim the Bosnian Church was an example of Protestants and/or Baptists who lived prior to the Reformation).

It's one of history's great mysteries. Anyone here have any opinions? The Bosnian Church eventually ceased to exist when most of its members converted to Islam following the Turkish invasion.

* I tend to think that Protestantism, with its emphasis on individual Bible study, could only have come into existence following the invention of the printing press which made mass-producing Bibles possible.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 07:54:46 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline augustin717

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Re: The Curious Case Of The Bosnian Church
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 08:21:37 PM »
The consensul still is i think they were Bogumils.
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Offline wgw

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Re: The Curious Case Of The Bosnian Church
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2015, 11:07:26 PM »
The Bogomils were by no means crypto-Protestant, but were rather late Gnostic.  Also of interest in this light were the Paulicans, who held on to a sort of rabid Marcionite theology at a minimum, but who were probably at least during the Bogomil era full-on Gnostics; they held out in the Cacaucus region until dismantled by the Armenian church in the 19th century if memory seeves.  There are fragments that survive of a rubbishy, vitriolic text of theirs which does pour scorn on us in the way a Calvinist might pour scorn on the Catholics, but I think what they were fighting for was a different heresy.
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