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Bruce Berglund, selected publications

Edited Books

Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe (co-editor, with Brian A. Porter-Szucs, University of Michigan). Central European University Press, 2010.

"A volume that specialists in the history of Christianity in other regions of the world will read with great interest, and a degree of envy. As an historian of religion in Western Europe, I can say that although there is a vast literature on the religious history of the nineteenth century and a growing literature on the twentieth century, there is nothing quite like this."
–from the Foreword by Hugh McLeod, author of The Religious Crisis of the 1960s

This collection of essays is the first work to address the history of the Christian churches in 19th- and 20th-century Eastern Europe, drawing from archives and other sources made available since the fall of communism. The thirteen essays in the book cover, among other topics, Christianity and antisemitism in interwar Hungary, the dissolution of the Greek Catholic Church in postwar Ukraine and Romania, human rights and peace movements in communist East Germany and Czechoslovakia, and a famous prophetess in postwar Bulgaria. Contributors to the volume, who represent the University of Washington, Rutgers, King's College London, Central European University, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and other institutions, met to discuss their research in meetings in 2005 at Calvin and in 2006 at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw, both times with funding from the Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship.

Current projects

The Philosopher, the Architect, and the Social Worker: Religion, Art, and Ideals in Modern Prague

The focuses on three principal characters: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the philosophy professor who became Czechoslovakia’s first president; his daughter Alice Garrigue Masaryková, a social worker trained in the settlement houses of Chicago who became the founding director of the Czechoslovak Red Cross; and Jože Plečnik, the Slovenian architect who directed the renovations of Prague Castle in the 1920s-30s, crafting the courtyards and gardens that millions of tourists visit today.  The book centers on these three and their relationship in the transformation of the Castle, a project that was aimed to create, in the words of Masaryková, “a sacred acropolis.”  The book also surrounds these main characters with other important cultural figures in interwar Prague in order to give a broader perspective of the debates over the future of religion, the sources of modern morality, and the foundations of a democratic society. 

Culture wars are fought on broad fronts. Appropriately, this is a work of cultural history in the broadest sense. Its source materials are novels and poems, academic texts and lectures, essays and reviews, architectural plans and paintings, and the letters of traditionalists and skeptics, mystics and moralists. The aim of the book is to bring the broader patterns of religious adherence and decline into focus at the level of individual experience, exploring what people believed, how they expressed those beliefs, and how they applied religious conviction—or lack of conviction—to questions of morality, politics, art, and social welfare. 

Encyclopedia and reference articles

Eastern Europe, article in Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History, edited by William H. McNeill, vol. 2, 603-610. Berkshire Publishing, 2004.

Ivo Andric, Edvard Benes, Karel Capek, Milovan Djilas, Jaroslav Hasek, Vaclav Havel, Milan Kundera, Tomas Masaryk, articles in Biographical Dictionary of Literary Influences: The 20th Century, edited by John Powell. Greenwood Press, 2004.


“‘'We stand on the threshold of a new age’: Alice Masaryková, the Czechoslovak Red Cross, and the Building of a New Europe.” In Aftermaths of War: Women’s Movements and Female Activists, 1918-1923. Edited by Ingrid Sharp and Matthew Stibbe. Leiden: Brill, 2011.

“Demokratický Hrad jako posvátný prostor (Náboženství a ideály v obnově Pražského hradu)" [The Democratic Castle as Sacred Space: Religion and Ideals in the Renovation of Prague Castle], translated into Czech by Martin C. Putna, Souvislosti: Revue pro literaturu a kulturu (September 2007): 208-221. Read a PDF English version.

"Building a Church for a New Age: The Search for a Modern Catholic Art in Turn-of-the-Century Central Europe.” Centropa: A Journal of Central European Architecture and Related Arts 3, no. 3 (September 2003): 225-239. Winner of the 2004 Stanley Z. Pech Prize of the Czechoslovak History Conference.

“"All Germans are the same’: Czech and Sudeten German Exiles in Britain and the Transfer Plans.” National Identities 2:3 (Summer 2000): 225-44.

"Political Culture and Cultural Identity: The Messages of Czechoslovak Propaganda in Britain during the Second World War,” published in Czech translation. Strední Evropa 14 (December 1998): 59-71.

"Emigrantstina in England: Opposition to Edvard Benes during the Second World War,” published in Czech translation. Historie a vojenství 47:5 (September 1998): 26-60.