Description : Nineteen American and Balkan scholars examine the role of religion in the war in Bosnia and Herzgovina. Representing Muslim, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and secular traditions, some authors regard religion as marginal to the conflicts while others assign it a pivotal role in the social and political divisions and confrontations in the region. Collectively, they offer a bold exploration of the religious dimensions of genocide and contemporary ethnic warfare.
Description : The recent atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina have stunned people throughout the world. With Holocaust memories still painfully vivid, a question haunts us: how is this savagery possible? Michael A. Sells answers by demonstrating that the Bosnian conflict is not simply a civil war or a feud of age-old adversaries. It is, he says, a systematic campaign of genocide and a Christian holy war spurred by religious mythologies. This passionate yet reasoned book examines how religious stereotyping—in popular and official discourse—has fueled Serbian and Croatian ethnic hatreds. Sells, who is himself Serbian American, traces the cultural logic of genocide to the manipulation by Serb nationalists of the symbolism of Christ's death, in which Muslims are "Christ-killers" and Judases who must be mercilessly destroyed. He shows how "Christoslavic" religious nationalism became a central part of Croat and Serbian politics, pointing out that intellectuals and clergy were key instruments in assimilating extreme religious and political ideas. Sells also elucidates the ways that Western policy makers have rewarded the perpetrators of the genocide and punished the victims. He concludes with a discussion of how the multireligious nature of Bosnian society has been a bridge between Christendom and Islam, symbolized by the now-destroyed bridge at Mostar. Drawing on historical documents, unpublished United Nations reports, articles from Serbian and Bosnian media, personal contacts in the region, and Internet postings, Sells reveals the central role played by religious mythology in the Bosnian tragedy. In addition, he makes clear how much is at stake for the entire world in the struggle to preserve Bosnia's existence as a multireligious society.
Description : This volume brings together a distinguished group of thinkers, working in ethics, religion and history, to explore moral and religious issues that underlie the violence in Bosnia. ********************************************************* This volume brings together a distinguished group of thinkers to explore the moral and religious issues that underlie the violence and atrocities in Bosnia. From diverse academic and philosophical perspectives, the works of Jean Bethke Elshtain, James Turner Johnson, Michael Sells, John Kelsay, and G. Scott Davis will inform not just scholars of ethics, politics and religion, but everyone concerned with the prospects for justice in the post Cold War world.
Description : Mitja Velikonja has written a comprehensive survey that examines how religion has interacted with other aspects of Bosnia-Herzegovina's history. Velikonja sees the former Ottoman borderland as a distinct cultural and religious entity where three major faiths -- Islam, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy -- managed to coexist in relative peace. It is only during the past century that competing nationalisms have led to persecution, ethnic cleansing, and mass murder. Emphasizing the importance of religion to nationalism as a symbol of collective identity that strengthens national identity, Velikonja notes that religious groups have a tendency to become isolated from one another. He believes Bosnia-Herzegovina was unique in its sarlikost, or diversity, because while religion defined ethnic communities there and kept them separate, it did not create a culture of intolerance. Rather than suppressing one another, the region's ethno-religious groups learned to cooperate and mediate their differences -- useful behavior in an area that served as buffer between East and West for most of its history. Velikonja believes that Bosnians went beyond tolerance to embrace synthetic, eclectic religious norms, with each religious group often borrowing customs and rituals from its rivals. Rather than the extreme orthodoxy evident elsewhere in Europe, Bosnia became the home of heterodoxy. Sadly, nationalism changed all that, and the area became the scene of systematic persecution, forced conversion, and mass slaughter. Velikonja considers the misfortunes suffered by the Bosnians during the 1990s as largely the result of actions by their neighbors and local militants and inaction by the international community.But he also sees the tragedy that unfolded as the result of the exploitation of ethno-religious differences and myths by Serbian chauvinists and Croatian nationalists. Despite the tragedy that overwhelmed Bosnia-Herzegovina
Description : An exploration of the causes of the Bosnian war by academics and diplomats that offers the broadest perspective on the conflict to date.
Description : Presents a historical overview of the breakup and war with details of the myths, propaganda, and politics of the hostilies, and the prospects for the future
Description : Focusing on places, objects, bodies, narratives and ritual spaces where religion may be found or inscribed, the authors reveal the role of religion in contesting rights to places, to knowledge and to property, as well as access to resources. Through analyses of specific historical processes in terms of responses to socio-economic and political change, the chapters consider implicitly or explicitly the problematic relation between science (including social sciences and anthropology in particular) and religion, and how this connects to the new religious globalisation of the twenty-first century. Their ethnographies highlight the embodiment of religion and its location in landscapes, built spaces and religious sites which may be contested, physically or ideologically, or encased in memory and often in silence. Taken together, they show the importance of religion as a resource to the believers: a source of solace, spiritual comfort and self-willed submission. Frances Pine was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, and a Professor at the Institute of Gender Research at the University of Bergen and is now at Goldsmiths University of London. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Poland over the past 25 years. She is the co-editor of Surviving Post Socialism (Routledge 1998) and Memory, Politics and Religion: the Past Meets the Present in Europe (LIT 2004), and author of numerous articles on kinship, economy and gender, eastern Europe, history, place and memory. João de Pina-Cabral is Research Coordinator at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, where he has been the President of the Scientific Board for the past six years. He has carried out fieldwork and published extensively on Northwestern Portugal, Macau (south China) and Mozambique. His books in English include Sons of Adam, Daughters of Eve (Clarendon Press, Oxford), Between China and Europe (Continuum Books, LSE Monographs, London) and various co-edited volumes (JASO, Macmillan and Berg). He is presently the President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists.
Description : Religion as a Conversation Starter is the first comprehensive analysis of the present state of interreligious dialogue for peacebuilding in Southeast Europe. It is based on empirically grounded and policy-oriented research, carried out throughout the Balkans. The study maps recent interreligious relations in this part of the world, throwing light on both the achievements and challenges of interreligious dialogue for peacebuilding in particular, and offering a set of up-to-date policy recommendations, whilst contributing to a greater understanding of the local particularities and how they relate to broader trends transnationally. Interreligious dialogue has been a central tool in the continuous international efforts to promote peaceful living together in multicultural and multireligious societies. This fascinating monograph explores the place of interreligious dialogue as a primary method in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and will be of interest to scholars of religious and peace studies, as well as those who advocate and carry out organized interventions in religion-related spheres.
Description : Religion plays a part in many conflicts in the world. But what role? Is conflict usually economic and/or ethnic at root, with religion becoming a part of it only secondarily? Or does the very formation of a religious community itself lead to isolation, exclusion and conflict? Reconciliation often has religious roots: through religion people often come to understand that they are part of a greater whole and to realize that they must work at restoring good relationships with others in situations of deep conflict, and especially after direct conflict has ended. Religion, Conflict and Reconciliation: Multifaith Ideals and Realities, the authors of which represent five religious traditions, provides the reader with broad perspectives on the role of religion in conflict and reconciliation, with regard to both the actual processes involved and the central insights of the major religious traditions of the world.
Description : Despite the wealth of historical literature on the Second World War, the subject of religion and churches in occupied Europe has been undervalued – until now. This critical European history is unique in delivering a rich and detailed analysis of churches and religion during the Second World War, looking at the Christian religions of occupied Europe: Catholicism, Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Orthodoxy. The authors engage with key themes such as relations between religious institutions and the occupying forces; religion as a key factor in national identity and resistance; theological answers to the Fascist and National Socialist ideologies, especially in terms of the persecution of the Jews; Christians as bystanders or protectors in the Holocaust; and religious life during the war. Churches and Religion in the Second World War will be of great value to students and scholars of European history, the Second World War and religion and theology.