SKETCHES FROM THE HISTORY OF THE HUNGARIAN CHURCH
The Work-group of the Encyclopaedia of Hungarian Ecclesiastical History (METEM) was established in 1988 with the intention of creating a composition that envelopes the one thousand year long history of the Hungarian Church and which appoints the parish, the fundamental unit of the church, as its object of focus. It received the title of The Encyclopaedia of Hungarian Ecclesiastical History. The Encyclopaedia attempts to incorporate all of the parishes which existed during the past one thousand years, let them be located within the boundaries of the historical Hungary, Western Europe, the American continent or some other part of the world.
The Sketches of Hungarian Ecclesiastical History and the Historia Ecclesiastica Hungarica Foundation (HEHA), which became its publisher, as well as the Work-group of the Encyclopaedia of Hungarian Ecclesiastical History (METEM International) International (Toronto - Budapest - Pannonhalma - Szeged) attempted the revival of research of Hungarian ecclesiastical history which was discontinued and prohibited during the single-party state dictatorship. Later, it was still not permitted, and thus, did not exist for decades. The work also attempts to aid the teaching of this topic at the university and college level, to popularise it through professional-methodological studies, as well as to publish sources, books and periodicals concerning this theme. The members of the editorial staff, working together with professors of Hungarian origin who teach at American universities, attempt to promote the education of ecclesiastical history at various departments of universities in Hungary, as well as in Colleges of Theology which are directed by the Church, while embracing the educators and researchers to take part in this research. After four decades of oppression, our undertaking serves the revival of this branch of science and through this, the commencement of an educational programme. At the same time, it contributes to the establishment of scientific relationships between the East and the West, and the formation of professional ties on both personal and institutional levels. We do this without any type of denominational prejudice, providing a place for the history of any church, as well as historical, folklore, and art history themes which are related to this topic.
Resembling a yearbook, the Sketches of Hungarian Ecclesiastical History, which began with the purpose of providing a place for the publication of partial research results that were uncovered at the time, function as a periodical today. At the moment, it is the only functioning periodical on ecclesiastical history. In 1994, the publication - maintaining its original title - took up the Regnum subtitle also. With this action, the work-group wished to pay respect to the highly recognised periodical of the thirties and forties and to the effort of the church historians whose work was published here. At the same time, they accepted the upkeep of the intellectual inheritance it contained. There is a slight transition from the "old" Catholic Regnum in that our periodical had taken up the support of research concerning church history and the publication of the findings.
Since 1989, the "Sketches" had been published once per annum, and since 1993, it has been issued four times per year in two volumes. (Publisher-in-charge: Asztrik Várszegi (1989); Chief Editor: András Uzsoki (1989-1991); Tibor Horváth (1991-1993); Konrád Szántó (1994-); Editor-in-charge: István Zombori (1990-). According to, and in addition to, its original purpose - to provide space for domestic authors - it also provides a place of publication for studies concerned with the ecclesiastical history of the once historical Hungary, and the publication of sources from authors living in Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine or the newly formed states of the former Yugoslavia. At the same time, we have included in the collection more and more experts from among the emigrated Hungarians, and have extended research to envelop the operation of the Hungarian churches that have been established by emigrated Hungarians.
In addition to the periodical, we have also published independent volumes. Thus, we publish the METEM-books series. In this series, we include those monographs, essays, publications of sources, and collections of documents which fulfil the goals outlined above, thus filling a gap in this area, domestically and internationally.
We publish the "Ecclesia Sancta" series, which holds works about ecclesiastical history of other countries to be used in domestic research and for the greater public that is interested in this topic. Our new series is the "Records of Church Visitation," of which six volumes have been published so far and which is an aid of primary importance for the domestic and international archival profession and researchers.
The publisher has also issued other works which do not belong into a series, and this practice will be continued in the future as well. The publisher pays special attention to works published in foreign languages (especially in English, German, Italian, but we have also a volume in Slovakian).
The research into Hungarian ecclesiastical history could take off again through the efforts of the Sketches of Hungarian Ecclesiastical History and the METEM, and thus, it can be truly said that without denominational prejudice, it perceives its task to publish any topics concerning church history which is connected to the 1100 years of Hungarian past, including historical folklore and other topics which are concerned with church art history.