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 : This book shows how current and future research on the social history of the Balkans can be integrated into a broader European framework. The contributions look at a range of methodological and empirical issues, and the theme that links the various studies is that of the contrasting, yet, at the same time, entangled ideas of the Balkans as a "mental map" and of Southeast Europe as an "historical region." (Series: Studies on South East Europe - Vol. 10)
Description : This volume examines the political engagement of religious associations in the post-socialist countries of Central and Southeastern Europe, with a focus on revelations about the collaboration of clergy with the communist-era secret police, intolerance, and controversies about the inclusion of religious instruction in the schools.
Description : An array of essays explores how religion affected the ideological and military clashes around the globe during the 20th century's Cold War. Simultaneous. Book available.
Description : An investigation of recent developments and trends within the Yugoslav successor states since the signing of the Dayton Agreements in Autumn 1995. This book offers a distinctive and desirable perspective on the seven successor states, their cultures, politics and identities by providing an internal perspective on the region and its developments.
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.