Politics and Adaptation : The Case of Jan Hus



Year of publication 2017
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Politics and Adaptation. The case of Jan Hus This study deals with an image of the Czech priest and theorist of ecclesiastical Reformation Jan Hus (c. 1370–1415) changing due to new political, social and cultural contexts. I aim to show how the Communist regime appropriated Jan Hus through Otakar Vávra’s eponymous adaptation filmed in 1953 in which Hus is portrayed as a revolutionary. I introduce Jan Hus in his historical and theological role and then focus on how he and the Hussite movement were perceived from the 18th century onwards. A special figure in this process is a writer Alois Jirásek whose novels and plays provided an answer to the question of Czech culture and identity which he saw in the historical traditions. The Communist appropriation of Jirásek’s work, including his drama Jan Hus (1911), then claimed that the Czech medieval society was headed in the direction of revolution, even if it had no term for such a thing.

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