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date: 18 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 32 deals with the ways the image of Jan Hus (c. 1370–1415), the Czech priest and theorist of ecclesiastical Reformation, changes in new political, social, and cultural contexts. It aims 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. After introducing Jan Hus in his historical and theological role, it focuses on the different ways he and the Hussite movement were perceived from the eighteenth century onward. A pivotal figure in this process is the writer Alois Jirásek, whose novels and plays sought, in historical traditions, answers to the questions of Czech culture and identity. The communist appropriation of Jirásek’s work, including his drama Jan Hus (1911), claimed that Czech medieval society was headed in the direction of revolution, even if that society had no term for such a thing.

Keywords: adaptation, Czech cinema, communism, Jan Hus, Reformation

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