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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 15 | volume III | June-July, 2000



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 15June-July, 2000

Bogomil Movement and its Implications

p. 1
Melanija Šerdenkovska

    The end of the IX and the beginning of the X century were marked by major changes in the social structure of Macedonian Slavic tribes. At the time, the territory of Macedonian tribes was a component of the powerful feudal state of Bulgarian Tzar Symeon (823-927). After coming into reign, in order to sustain power, as well as because of the opportunity for quicker and more efficient exploitation, the military and administrative division was spread in this region also in the form that had already existed in Bulgarian Empire. Simultaneously, it meant rapid disintegration of the clan structures. The church too was engaged in this process and it used to receive real estates from the dominant feudal institutions. As an outstanding propriety owner it took the side of monarchy, in defence of the established social order.
    The conditions in which Macedonian Slavs found themselves, really deteriorated in the middle of the X century, during the reign of Tzar Peter (927-969), when he completed his conquest expeditions when the taxes for the great military and administrative apparatus abruptly increased.[1] In such critical historical circumstances sprang up a strong people’s movement for religious and political liberation – Bogomilism. In the essence, it represents a religious teaching based on dualistic heretic teachings.


    The religious base from which Bogomilism developed is Christianity in its original form. Bogomils called themselves Krstjani and showed extraordinary respect for Christ. Starting from the attitudes at the beginnings of Christianity they believed that in addressing God the individual does not need mediators – people from the church institution who are in deep sins of greed and immorality – nor a church object. At the outset they preached their sermons and conducted their spiritual baptism most frequently in the open in the vicinity of the village i.e. the town.
    At the start of the X century emerged the first written documents dealing with the beginning of Bogomilism. It was a list of anathemas from the provincial synod of Orthodoxy passed between the years of 912 and 925 during the reign of Patriarch Nikola.
    Approximately at the same time appeared the polemics of Jovan Exarch with the dualistic heretics. These documents were supported by St.Clement’s hagiography, concerned with “the bad heresy” in the area of Ohrid, after Clement’s death.[2]
    In spite of such foundation of their teaching, they rejected Christian monotheism and accepted theological dualism. According to them, the entire visible


1. Stojanovski A. d-r, Katardzhiev I. d-r, Zografski D. d-r, Apostolski M. d-r, the same, p. 24

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