From Tradition to Modernization. Church and the Transylvanian Romanian Family in the Modern Era

Ioan Bolovan, Sorina Paula Bolovan


The Christian Church was intimately involved in the life of an individual within a family. Between state and church there was a mutual cooperation, the church having the right to exercise its moral jurisdiction, while the state controlled the civil and military aspects of family life, as well as children’s and wives’ inheritance and welfare. With the institution of an absolutist government in Transylvania in the 18th–19th centuries, the rela-tion between state and church changed, as the secular power began to claim rights over the church and to subordinate it, limiting the coercive power of the church as a moral instrument. As the processes of secularisation and modernization gained ground, the church gradually lost its prerogatives to state institutions, a process reaching completion with the series of laws passed between 1894 and 1895 by the Hungarian state, whereby all registry documents concerning marital status, matrimony, and divorce came under state jurisdiction.


19th century; Church; family; legislation; Transylvania; Romanians; secularization; modernization

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