International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 2, No 1 (2011)

Slavic Messianism in Bulgaria: The White Brotherhood and the Question of National Identity (1920-1944)

Thomas Heinzel
Issued Date: 14 Aug 2011


This paper considers the adoption and modification of Western esoteric discourses in the context of a Southeast European alternative religious movement, Petăr Dănov’s White Brotherhood. The analysis focuses on the views the Bulgarian master and his followers espoused during the interwar period and the Second World War regarding their country’s national identity and history. Based on the macro-historical conception of Theosophy, the White Brothers believed in Slavdom’s, and especially Bulgaria’s, messianic calling to unite mankind in order to prepare for the emergence of a new human race. The goal of this paper is not only to outline these messianic ideas but also to shed light on their historico-cultural context and on influences that possibly contributed to their formulation.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v2i1.55

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