Romania’s Saving Angels

”New Men”, Orthodoxy and Blood Mysticism in the Legionary Movement


  • Cecilie Endresen University of Oslo



Nationalism and religion, gender, Orthodox Christianity, Romania, Ethnonationalism, Religion and Society, Antiseminism, Fascism


In Romania, a Christian, ultranationalistic movement known as The Legionary Movement has before and after the Communist period called for a national, spritual revolution. Perceiving themselves as front fighters protected by the Archangel, Legionaries endeavour to purify the nation so that it can live in its God-given fatherland. In order to assure national resurrection, Legionaries want to create a “New Man”, understood as a new male. This ideal combines the qualities of a Christian martyr, a working hero, a monk and a militant and as such both complex and ambiguous. In practice, Legionaries have a lot in common with other European “boot boys”. Based on field studies, this article discusses the role of men in this movement: their role models, male bonding, rituals and myths, as well as their concepts of family, brotherhood and blood relations, all with reference to a particular ethnonationalistic, christocentric worldview.

Author Biography

Cecilie Endresen, University of Oslo

PhD, senior lecturer/postdoctoral fellow


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How to Cite

Endresen, C. (2012). Romania’s Saving Angels: ”New Men”, Orthodoxy and Blood Mysticism in the Legionary Movement. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 41(2), 16–22.