Chapter 9. Slovak national identity as articulated in the homilies of a religious holiday
Religious and national identity can be linked in various ways. This chapter examines how religious elites in Slovakia shape the parameters of the nation through discourse during their celebration of a religious-themed, state holiday Sviatok Panny Márie Sedembolestnej (Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows Day). The scope of this piece deals primarily with one question: How do the bishops and archbishops presiding over these events talk the nation, or more specifically, how do they present national history and represent national solidarity and homogeneity in their discourse? By examining the homilies delivered at the Slovak national pilgrimage, the main religious event of the national holiday, this chapter sheds light on how the Slovak Catholic religious elite discursively constructs ideas of national identity and nationhood.