Religion, Politics and Literature in Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania's Work

Nicolae Turcan


The personality of Metropolitan Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania has been extremely complex, first of all due to the various domains of his work - literature, essays, art history, theology and biblical theology -, and secondly due to his relation to politics, especially his connections with the Legionary Movement and with Communism. Despite having been incarcerated as a political prisoner in some of Bolshevik Romania's famous prisons (Jilava, Pitesti, Aiud), Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania is still accused of having collaborated with the political police of Ceausescu's regime, Securitatea. The present text analyses the writer's work in order to explain the relationship between religion, literature, and politics, stressing both their connections, as well as his journey from being a writer to being the theologian commenting on and revising the translation of the Holy Scripture. The analysis is therefore oriented towards Valeriu Anania's literary works, namely his poetry, prose, and theatre, so as to underline its religious background, be it either theological or alluding to Romanian popular religiosity; furthermore, it focuses on his theology, from icon to biblical theology, stressing the associations with literature and the importance of literary workmanship. Finally, based on the cultural analyses which unveil his deep affection for the Romanian spirituality and considering several politically controversial episodes of his biography, the text will attempt to argue in favour of the lack of sufficient and reliable evidence that could prove his collaboration with the political police of Communist Romania.


Bartolomeu Valeriu Anania, religion, politics, literature, Communism, Legionary Movement, Securitate

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