Rampart Nations: Bulwark Myths of East European Multiconfessional Societies in the Age of Nationalism | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Rampart Nations: Bulwark Myths of East European Multiconfessional Societies in the Age of Nationalism

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Volume 1

New Perspectives on Central and Eastern European Studies

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Rampart Nations

Bulwark Myths of East European Multiconfessional Societies in the Age of Nationalism

Edited by Liliya Berezhnaya and Heidi Hein-Kircher

416 pages, 14 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-147-5 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (March 2019)

ISBN  978-1-80073-435-7 $39.95/£31.95 / Pb / Published (May 2022)

eISBN 978-1-78920-148-2 eBook


View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Over thirteen case-studies, grouped loosely by theme and chronology, editors Liliya Berezhnaya and Heidi Hein-Kircher have brought together a readable collection, with a welcome coherence, thanks to its narrowness of theme— which is unpacked in two prefatory essays and a conclusion.” • English Historical Review

“As this volume shows so well, bulwark myths persist in many places. Rampart Nations is an excellent guide to a problem that shows no signs of going away.” • Hungarian Historical Review

“This is a very strong assortment of essays from a well-chosen and varied team of international collaborators…an excellent and eloquent contribution to a topic that is only becoming more relevant both within historiography and the modern political context. The editors deserve praise not only for the commendable work in putting together this cooperative piece but also for the admirable introduction, which provides a thorough discussion of the available scholarly literature on the antemurale myth.” • Quaestio Rossica

“This volume does not simply offer a study on the history of nationalism in Eastern Europe, but also shows how history is still alive today and informs our everyday lives. As such, Rampart Nations is a great resource for students and scholars of both historical and contemporary Eastern Europe.” • Slavic & East European Journal

“This collection contributes a great deal to the relativizing of the different ideas of bulwarks. By contrasting these the volume makes the commonalities more visible.” • Sehepunkte

“This volume is a successful example of how History can offer insights into political challenges of the present…The quality of the contributions is excellent throughout, as are the numerous cross references, indicating the competent work done by the editors. The volume as a whole but also because of the quality of the individual contributions is to be recommended unreservedly.” • Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas

“This edited volume provides the reader with a fresh and engaging perspective on the issue of contact zones in Eastern Europe. It gives readers great insights on new and exciting interpretations of transnational history in the region through a well-researched and fascinating assemblage of texts.” • Candadian Slavonic Papers/Revue Canadienne des Slavistes

“The volume is an outstanding piece of scholarship as it offers a glimpse beyond the rampart to readers from this part of the continent and beyond. It makes clear the immense complexity of the task of legitimising the presence and depicting the role of particular nations in this part of Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.” • Acta Poloniae Historica

“Questions about borders are a familiar topic on news and social media sites: who controls borders, where they should be located, and which side are you on. Rampart Nations is a timely anthology of essays on borders and borderlands, addressing the antemurale (bulwark) myth in Eastern Europe. The volume illuminates the historicity of the myth while also identifying how the concept continues to have contemporary meaning and purpose”. • The Russian Review

“The contributions in this volume are immensely valuable and include some of the most innovative and best-argued texts I have read in the field.” • Piotr H. Kosicki, University of Maryland

Rampart Nations is a worthy compilation that will interest historians and other scholars. It contains solid scholarship on a subject that deserves attention, adding to our knowledge and understanding of European history and how current society has evolved.• Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach, University of Waterloo


The “bulwark” or antemurale myth—whereby a region is imagined as a defensive barrier against a dangerous Other—has been a persistent strand in the development of Eastern European nationalisms. While historical studies of the topic have typically focused on clashes and overlaps between sociocultural and religious formations, Rampart Nations delves deeper to uncover the mutual transfers and multi-sided national and interconfessional conflicts that helped to spread bulwark myths through Europe’s eastern periphery over several centuries. Ranging from art history to theology to political science, this volume offers new ways of understanding the political, social, and religious forces that continue to shape identity in Eastern Europe.

Dr. Liliya Berezhnaya is currently a Research Associate at the University of Amsterdam and a Self-supporting Visiting Professor at KU Leuven, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. She is the author of the books: Die Militarisierung der Heiligen in Vormoderne und Moderne (2020); Iconic Turns: Nation and Religion in Eastern European Cinema Since 1989 (2013; co-edited with Christian Schmitt); and The World to Come: Ukrainian Images of the Last Judgment (2015; co-authored with John-Paul Himka).

Heidi Hein-Kircher earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. In 2018, she earned her habilitation degree at Philipps University in Marburg. She is currently on the research staff at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg, Germany. She is also the Head of Department at the Institute’s Academic Forum.

Subject: History: 18th/19th CenturyHistory: 20th Century to PresentCultural Studies (General)
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


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