EXC 2060 B3-32 - Religious Diversity in the Habsburg-Ottoman border region: the military district of Varasdin in the 18th Century
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
The project investigates the relationship between religion, politics and social identity in the military district of Varasdin, the Westernmost part of the border region between the Habsburg and Ottoman empires - a region characterized by an extraordinary religious diversity. In the 18th century the Greek-Orthodox military peasants (Wehrbauern) revolted against the Habsburg authorities several times, which has produced a broad range of written sources. We investigate the interplay between the politics of the Habsburg administration and the development of confessional and ethnic identities. The project is structured by three main questions: Firstly, what was the relationship between the religious and military policy of the Habsburg administration regarding the military frontier? How did the political agents in Vienna, Graz and Rome interact in order to unify the Greek Orthodox and Roman church? Secondly, how did the population react to these policies – with indifference, dissimulation, conversion, emigration, passive resistance or rebellion? Which factors played a role in this regard? Thirdly, how did confessional and ethnic affiliations emerge in the course of the 18th century? We study this development as an interplay between the way the groups identified themselves and the way they were identified by others. In how far did the Habsburg policy contribute to consolidating unambiguous confessional and ethnic identities?