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DOSITEJ OBRADOVIĆ – UNIVERSALISM AND PATRIOTISM

Nenad Nikolić
University of Belgrade

Abstract: The paper analyzes the relation between universalism and patriotism in the work of the most prominent Serbian writer of the Enlightenment, Dositej Obradović (around 1739-1811). In his young days Obradović was inspired to write books in Serbian vernacular language when his translations of John Chrysostom homilies were warmly accepted amongst literate but formally uneducated girls. Thus, Obradović’s wish to write in vernacular language, stemming from love for the “daughters and sons of my kin”, predated his acceptance of the Enlightenment. Obradović then easily accepted pedagogical ideas of the Enlightenment as the best way to express love for his people as “the never-ending desire and endeavor to cause the well-being and perfection of our loved ones”. His patriotism mainly focused on self-improvement and self-fulfillment of every individual and was compatible with the universal ideas of the 18th century: advocated realization of the Enlightenment ideals within a specific nation.

Keywords: Dositej Obradović, Patriotism, Serbian Enlightenment, Serbian Nation, Universalism