148 new way of creating solidarity with the saints. In a broad framework of the history of ideas, the innovative thoughts of Dévai can be interpreted in the context of the thousand year old Christian tradition of “Soul-sleeping”.45 The social impact of Dévai’s famous theory of “the sleeping of saints” at the time of crisis following Mohács cannot be emphasised enough, since Dévai explicitly stated the political consequences of his religious arguments: Clerics preach in a stentorian voice that Stephen, the ?irst king of Hungarians, offered the country to the Virgin Mary. Hence, even the embossing of the coins present her as the Patron of the country. However, if this is true, I tell you that the king had no idea about the nature of the faith, i.e. that it turns only to God and ?ixes its gaze only on Christ, ignoring the saints and the Holy Virgin.46 Let us take a look at the positive teaching deriving from the denial of the traditional hierarchical world view. What are the new merits Dévai attributes to the dead, rid of their glory? And who will the believer, stepping out of the guardianship of saints, be able to turn to for help, if this believer now has no faith whatsoever in blind, deaf and helpless souls, similar to those sleeping? It is clear that only the heavenly Christ can intercede for sinners, but on Earth no one is left alone to their own resources for here Christians mutually pray for each other. Instead of invisible advocates, Christians gained visible ones, and instead of dead bones (relics), they gained living ribs (cf. Gen. 2,21) and brethren. In the eyes of God nobody was smaller or greater, nobody was closer to the ?ire or marginalised. Helping and assuming responsibility was mutual and the basis for a new sense of community, which as a mobilising ideology proved able to compete with the traditional Patrona Hungariae doctrine and the cult of saints, traditions which were facing a crisis. Reports about the Church living under Turkish occupation which were read with a lot of enthusiasm across Europe also convey this spirit, and this is also the basis on which theological systems were formed in the second half of the sixteenth century, re?lecting a world view typical of border castles. THE REACTIONS OF THE FOLLOWERS OF THE OLD FAITH The 1548 Diet of Bratislava dedicated eight articles to church issues. Due either to misunderstanding or convenience usually only one of these laws is mentioned, namely the one according to which Anabaptists and Sacramentarians (those subscribing to the Calvinist Eucharistic doctrine) should be expelled from the country. Contrary to the interpretation prevalent in the Protestant historical tradition, there is no mention in the Article about sparing the followers of the 45 Ács: ’The Theory of Soul-sleeping’. 46 Dévai: Dispvtatio, fol. b4r.
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