An Undisclosed Story of Roses: Church, State and Nation in Contemporary Georgia

Metreveli, Tornike (2015). An Undisclosed Story of Roses: Church, State and Nation in Contemporary Georgia (In Press). Nationalities Papers Taylor & Francis

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I will attempt to problematize the typologies of nationalism when applied to the Georgian context, particularly in relationship to nationalism of President Mikheil Saakashvili. I will argue that the state-driven nationalism of post-Rose Revolution government was a hybrid form of ethno-cultural and civic which had elements of ethnic particularism towards the Orthodox Church. By reflecting on the growing assistance of Western institutions to Georgia, I will problematize the extent to which the rise of American and European involvement in the region reinforced the perceptions of the “self” and the “other” among the religious elites since the Rose Revolution. By presenting field research data (interviews) gathered in 23 eparchies and perishes with religious clerics in 7 regions of Georgia, I will argue that religious nationalism in Georgia strengthened not in response to but as an outcome of President Saakashvili’s policies towards the church, and partially as a reaction to the growing dissatisfaction with Western institutions working in Georgia and Western governments’ response to the Russo-Georgian War of 2008. By reflecting on empirical material, the paper attempts to problematize an understanding of religious nationalism as a social movement, an instance of cultural autonomy and a source of identity (Friedland 2001). In response, I suggest viewing religious nationalism in post-communist Georgia as medium of material and political interests

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Metreveli, Tornike


200 Religion
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Taylor & Francis




Tornike Metreveli

Date Deposited:

27 Apr 2015 11:05

Last Modified:

11 May 2016 14:31

Additional Information:

Panel "Religion and Ethnicity"


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