TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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Constantin Brâncoveanu between historical and liturgical time


In his essay, the author evokes the picture of a scene from the Last Judgement, with images of Heaven-garden and Hell-dragon of fire and interpret its positioning in the porch of the large church in Hurezi (and then its extension to almost all brancovan and postbrancovan foundations) as the Church`s response to the challenges of history - including, quite recently for that time, in 1683, in Vienna, where Christians and Muslims harshly confronted. To this response (concealed in symbol), founder ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu has associated another one, more effective and open, where the historical time is exceeded by timeless liturgical moment, namely in the fresco of the porch at the infirmary in Hurezi, where Christ adamantly leads the Ark of the Church through the waves of History to Eternity even if enemy archers shoot from the shore and Mohammed himself is aiming the ark or the holiness of the Church, without, however, reaching their target.

These two symbolic images are considered by the author as important for the mentality of the time of Constantin Brâncoveanu, for the homo duplex condition of the Christian, obedient on the outside, but not on the inside, to the conjunctural power of the Empire of another religion. The Romanian Christian Prince would have intensely remembered the same images at the time of the tragic moment of August 15, 1714, when, at the human judgment of the Ottoman Sultan, he refused to convert to Islam in order to be pardoned; then, thinking of the Rightful Judge from Eternity, Brâncoveanu with his sons and his counselor Ianache overcame their historical time and chose the liturgical time of redemptive sacrifice, receiving, through martyrdom, the crown of sainthood.

Keywords: Constantin Brancoveanu, The Last Judgement, Hurezi monastery, church, Mohammed, sacrifice