Religion and National/Ethnic Identity in Modern Greek Society: A Study of Syncretism


  • Vassilis Adrahtas Hellenic Open University and National University of Athens
  • Paraskevi Triantafyllopoulou Panteion University, Athens


The present article is written as a theoretical exploration of the (actual, possible, or con - tingent) relations/processes that inform both the macroscopic and microscopic field of interactions between Orthodoxy and Hellenism in Modern Greek society. In particular, our exploration is interested in a social and cultural anthropology approach to Greek national/ethnic identity 

in the light, on the one hand, and through the application, on the other, of such categories as ‘syncretism’, ‘performance’, ‘cultural capital’, ‘subjectivity’, and ‘dialogic’. More specifically, the present article is divided into three parts: the first deals with a histori(ographi)cal periodization of the engage - ment that took place between the representations of Orthodoxy and those of Hellenism during the 19th and 20th centuries; the second is an account of certain indicative bibliographical references with regard to the issue at hand from a social sciences point of view; and, finally, the third part attempts to propose a typological and, at the same time, a phenomenological utilization of the above-mentioned cate gories, in order to signify at least the possibility of an expanded hermeneutic understanding of the differentiated, complementary, or even contradictory versions of the national/ethnic discourse about the symbiosis of Orthodoxy and Hellenism.