Download e-book for iPad: Language, Religion and National Identity in Europe and the by John Myhill

By John Myhill

ISBN-10: 902722711X

ISBN-13: 9789027227119

This e-book discusses the historic checklist of the concept language is linked to nationwide identification, demonstrating that assorted functions of this concept have continuously produced specific sorts of effects. Nationalist pursuits geared toward ‘unification’, established upon languages which differ tremendously on the spoken point, e.g. German, Italian, Pan-Turkish and Arabic, were linked to aggression, fascism and genocide, whereas these dependent upon fairly homogeneous spoken languages, e.g. Czech, Norwegian and Ukrainian, have ended in nationwide liberation and foreign balance. it's also proven that faith could be extra very important to nationwide identification than language, yet just for non secular teams which have been understood in premodern instances to be nationwide instead of common or doctrinal, e.g. Jews, Armenians, Maronites, Serbs, Dutch and English; this is often verified with discussions of the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the civil battle in Lebanon and the breakup of Yugoslavia, the United Netherlands and the uk.

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Additional info for Language, Religion and National Identity in Europe and the Middle East: A Historical Study

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Premodern national churches, Roman Europe, and the Caliphate ity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Although rare, conversions to Judaism were still possible for a few more centuries in the Persian Empire, but this too ended with the Islamic conquest of the area in the 7th century. After this, Jews again became a strictly ancestral group, whose identity was reinforced by their distinctive religion. A natural consequence of this development was that even after the Jews switched their spoken language from Hebrew to Aramaic, Greek, or other languages, a process which appears to have begun with the Babylonian Exile and to have been completed by the end of the second century CE at the latest, Hebrew continued to function as the linguistic marker of Jewish identity.

Like the Armenians, their adoption of monophysitism resulted in a schism with the Greeks and the Romans that has not been bridged to the present day, and also, like the Armenians, they have kept their ethnic languages, Coptic/Egyptian and Aramaic/Syriac, as their sacred languages even after they have switched to speaking other languages. Unlike the Armenians, however, the Copts and Jacobites understood the development of their churches as being the product of a schism rather than a national struggle.

Even after the Roman Empire expanded from the west, the great majority of the territory of Armenia remained under Persian rather than Roman sovereignty, which meant that the great majority of the Armenians continued to enjoy the territorial autonomy characteristic of the Persian Empire. East of the Euphrates, however, the Romans and then the Byzantine Greeks had a policy of dearmenization, particularly through forced population movements and the denial of any form of autonomy, parallel to what the Romans were doing to the Jews in their homeland at the same time; this process continued unabated in Armenia for hundreds of years, in fact, as long as Western Christians were in control of the area (Garsoian 1997a: 55; 1997b: 68, 1997c: 103–7).

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Language, Religion and National Identity in Europe and the Middle East: A Historical Study by John Myhill


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