Andrei Şaguna and “The Organic Statute”- Foreword

The origin of this book lies in what people usually call chance. In February 2002 I was unexpectedly invited and convinced to be part of a research project initiated by a group of professors and researchers at the University of Vienna, whose intention was to research Orthodox canonists and politicians of the Austrian Monarchy. After I accepted in principle, I devised, together with my project coordinator, a possible plan of my future doctoral dissertation – as part of the research project – which was to be dealing with Metropolitan Andrei Şaguna, a church personality quasi unknown to me at that time. I knew, however, from my activity in the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church Constitution, based on Şaguna`s church organization.

Having acces to the numerous works that constitute a vast bibliography on the given topic I came to admire more and more the powerful and appealing personality of the scholarly metropolitan. I have discovered a remarkable Orthodox canonist whose Church Constitution project, “Regulation Project” approved by the National Church Committee in 1868 under the name of “The Organic Statute” is today the organizational basis of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

The main purpose of my research was to provide a general perspective on the canonistical work and especially the church constitution project conceived by Metropolitan Andrei Şaguna, offering adequately additional information about the historical, political, social and religious context of Şaguna`s work. To my very pleasant surprise, while researching the canonist Andrei Şaguna I have also discovered in his charismatic personality one of the most significant religious leaders of 19th-century Transylvania and Austria. Therefore, the book also deals with the very complex history of Transylvania, that I have tried to present as concisely and clearly as possible. In presenting the painful, tragic aspects of the history of the Orthodox Church of Transylvania, I have taken pains to remain objective and correct. The principle of scientific objectivity has guided my entire research.

I would like to express my most sincere thanks to all the people I have consulted with for the elaboration of this book, my former doctoral dissertation submitted to the University of Vienna in the summer of 2009.

The hard work of proof-reading the final form of the manuscript belongs to Mrs Gabriela Geanina Laslău to whom I would most gratefully like to thank.

Because the book was conceived as a doctoral dissertation submitted to a German language University, some information from German research sources was quoted as such, in footnotes or in the text proper, without being translated into English. One of the reasons for using the German original texts was the difficulty of preserving the initial meaning and content unaltered in the translated text. However, I consider this will not constitute a major impediment for the non-German speakers.

My deepest wish is that my book will help the reader know more about Romania and the Romanians, especially about one of the most visionary church leaders of the Orthodox Romanians, Saint Andrei Şaguna, Metropolitan of Transylvania.

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mihaela.stan December 2, 2016 Drept si Religie