Insights on the national and religious war character of Gjergj Kastrioti-Skanderbeg

AuthorMuhamet Mala
PositionUniversity of Pristina ? Kosovo
European Journal of Economics, Law and Social Sciences
IIPCCL Publishing, Graz-Austria
Vol. 1 No. 1
January 2017
ISSN 2519-1284
Acces online at
Insights on the national and religious war character of Gjergj Kastrioti-Skan-
Assoc. Prof. Muhamet Mala
University of Pristina – Kosovo
Regarding the anti-O oman war of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, various scienti c circles
but also theological ones have o en laid the dilemma as to what character was this war -
religious or national one. Based on relevant sources, this paper concludes that the anti-
O oman war of Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg proved to be a successful combination of national
and religious elements due to the support of Papacy but also due to Christian religious
a liation of Albanians. Albanians belonged to two Christian religions, namely Orthodoxy
and Catholicism, and therefore Skanderbeg maneuvered successfully on the religious aspect
by overcoming distinctions between these two religions; thus maintaining the internal unity as
opposed to external dissention of these religions, he granted to the war a national character as
well. At this time, the orthodox Byzantium was almost entirely defeated causing the Catholic
Church to take over the role of organizing the defense. For the organization of a successful
defense, Papacy supported the Albanian resistance led by Skanderbeg, but it also tried to
bene t in terms of religious aspect, seeking uni cation of Orthodoxy with Catholicism. Under
these circumstances, Albanian territories, just where Orthodoxy and Catholicism met, were
found in a position that required cautious handling to avoid eventual dissention within the
Christianity and at the same time to organize an e ective anti-O oman resistance. Hence,
Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg became the main mastermind of inter-Albanian Christian religious
tolerance maintaining the same position both versus Catholicism and Orthodoxy thus giving
rise to a powerful Albanian inter-religious unity in favor of the defense from O omans and
successfully intertwining the national war with the religious one.
Keywords: national, religious, war, Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg.
Under unfavorable military and political circumstances for the Balkans and Europe,
Papacy which necessarily granted to the anti-O oman war also a religious character,
was considered a decisive factor of the anti-O oman war. Actually, Catholic Church-
led a empts were made with regard to organization of crusades that would be a
“spiritus muvens” of a wide anti-O oman movement. In the context of defending the
unoccupied part of the Balkans, Albanians became an important factor of cooperation
with Western trends which had assumed the organization of the anti-O oman
defense. In these anti-O oman trends, the Catholic Church played undoubtedly the
greatest role, namely popes who held the lead of this institution with a great military,
political and moral power of the time and even Albanians became no doubt, the
support factor of such a policy.1 Evidently, under circumstances of the time, the anti-
1 During the war of Skanderbeg against O omans, ve popes succeeded the throne of the Holy

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