In Babylonian Captivity or in the Promised Land? A Sermon by Ján Kollár on Public Interest from 1848

V babylonskom zajatí alebo v zasľúbenej zemi? Kázeň Jána Kollára o verejnom záujme z roku 1848

The study analyzes the sermon by Ján Kollár "Napomáhánj obecného dobrého wůbec obzwlásstě wlasti" (Help to create public benefit and especially for your motherland) which he delivered on May 21st 1848 in Lutheran church on Deák square in Budapest. László Matus tries to answer the question about the relation between Kollár's speech reviewing the April laws and the political identity of a Slovak priest. Several facts point out that his thoughts were influenced by coercion. 1. The sermon was delivered as a result of political request, 2. when we consider Kollar's political speeches before 1848 and after it, 3. Slovak scholars demonstrated presence of self-censorship and mimicry in his thoughts, 4. according to some sources and interpretations, Kollár was terrorized. Those factors had been questioned or a subject of relativization by other interpretations. In his analysis and contextualization of the speech, Lázsló Matus focuses on those views. Using archive sources he proves that many Slovak priests supported the April laws and denounced Štúrs's movement. He shows that Kollár applied also in one of his other works the territorially determined concept of motherland or the modes of demonstration of political collective consciousness created by reformatory intellectuals of Josephinism. Finally, he proves that it is necessary to revise the scholarly opinion about Kollár's apolitical position. His public sensibility and several demonstrations of quite radical thoughts can be considered related to the revolutionary idea of 1848. They lead to an assumption that "national" aspect of Kollár's thinking could had been suppressed by political ideal for a short time. The author considers those observations valid only for a short period of time (spring and summer of 1848).

How to Cite: 

Matus, László: In Babylonian Captivity or in the Promised Land? A Sermon by Ján Kollár on Public Interest from 1848. In Forum Historiae, 2013, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 7-20