December 2, 2012
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In case you don’t know: Christianity is incarnated in deputy prime minister Zsolt Semjén. As it turns out, Mr Semjén’s thesis for his doctor universitatis degree (an obsolete degree somewhere between an MA and a PhD) received in 1991 in theology from Pázmány Péter Catholic University wasn’t very original. Meaning that extensive parts of it were copied or translated from other sources, as the very respactable Heti Világgazdaság (www.hvg.hu) found out. HVG was the magazine that showed the doctoral thesis of former president Mr Pál Schmitt to be mostly translated from Nikolai Georgiev’s Analyse du programme olympique.
According to HVG, around 40% of Mr Semjén’s thesis („A New Age kihívása és az evangelizáció lehetősége”, i.e. the Challange of New Age and the Possibility for Evagelisation; findings: Mick Jagger = devil incarnate) is either copied from Helmuth von Glasenapp’s The five World Religion (published in Hungarian as Az öt világvallás), or a translation of Stefan Üblackner’s Der Traum vom „New Age” and Lewis Spence The Encyclopedia of the Occult. Especially the Üblackner translation is somewhat strange, since Mr Semjén doesn’t mention any German language skills in his official CV.
Although at the time his opponents considered his thesis quite poor, it was later converted into a PhD. Semjén reused it to get an MA in Sociology from Eötvös Loránd University in 1992 – however, that proved to be more difficult as one of the faculty declared that this paper was not on sociology.
And how did Mr Semjén react? He blamed the persecution of Christians for the questioning of the merits of his thesis. And he published another version of his MA thesis in sociology, which contains an additional 22 pages – one part of this text was published after he got his degree under the name of his mentor in a periodical, and another in a book by his mentor in sociology, Attila Molnár.