By Vjekoslav Perica
Reporting from the heartland of Yugoslavia within the Nineteen Seventies, Washington submit correspondent Dusko Doder defined "a panorama of Gothic spires, Islamic mosques, and Byzantine domes." 1 / 4 century later, this panorama lay in ruins. as well as claiming tens of hundreds of thousands of lives, the previous Yugoslavia's 4 wars ravaged over one thousand spiritual constructions, many purposefully destroyed via Serbs, Albanians, and Croats alike, supplying an apt architectural metaphor for the region's contemporary background. hardly ever has the human impulse towards monocausality--the desire for a unmarried explanation--been in higher facts than in Western makes an attempt to make experience of the country's bloody dissolution. From Robert Kaplan's arguable Balkan Ghosts, which pointed out entrenched ethnic hatreds because the motive force at the back of Yugoslavia's death to NATO's dogged pursuit and arrest of Slobodan Milosevic, the search for simple solutions has often served to imprecise the Balkans' advanced historical past. probably such a lot unusually, no ebook has targeted explicitly at the position faith has performed within the conflicts that proceed to torment southeastern Europe. in accordance with a variety of South Slav resources and formerly unpublished, frequently private files from communist country documents, in addition to at the author's personal on-the-ground adventure, Balkan Idols explores the political function and effect of Serbian Orthodox, Croatian Catholic, and Yugoslav Muslim spiritual businesses over the process the final century. Vjekoslav Perica emphatically rejects the thought "clash of civilizations" has performed a important position in fomenting aggression. He reveals no compelling proof of an upsurge in spiritual fervor one of the common inhabitants. really, he concludes, the first spiritual avid gamers within the conflicts were activist clergy. This activism, Perica argues, allowed the clergy to imagine political energy with no the responsibility confronted by way of democratically-elected officers. What emerges from Perica's account is a deeply nuanced realizing of the background and way forward for one in all Europes such a lot risky areas.
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Extra resources for Balkan Idols: Religion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States (Religion and Global Politics)
On this occasion, Nikolaj exclaimed: Rise three ﬁngers Orthodox Serbs! This popular rebellion does not undermine, it will fortify our homeland. Down with all antinational elements: parasites and bloodsuckers, capitalists, godless, and communists! The Serbian faith is awakened because it is hurt. 3 The Catholic Church, especially its Croatian branch, was embittered. Church leaders resented the Serbian Orthodox Church’s status of a privileged state religion because equality of religions had been agreed on by the founders of the Yugoslav state.
23 The historian of modern Serbia Michael. B. ”24 Serb rulers and bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church built shrines, monuments, and cemeteries as places of worship and markers along state borders and communal boundaries. Ancient landmarks show how the medieval Serbian kingdom was established and how it expanded, was destroyed, and was renewed in modern times. 26 In the Orthodox world, the Church, ethnic community, and state grow together. From 1217 (the coronation of a king) and 1219 (the recognition of autocephaly, that is, ecclesiastical autonomy under Saint Sava as ﬁrst archbishop) to 1331 (the coronation of a king-emperor) and 1346 (when the emperor-king established a patriarchate), medieval Serbian state took shape.
14 Myths make nations, and nations make myths. The crucial difference among the three Slavic Serbo-Croatian– speaking Yugoslav ethnic nations and the Serbs, Croats, and Bosnian Muslims who constitute two-thirds of the population in the two common Yugoslav states is not religion (Serb Orthodoxy, Croatian Catholicism, or Bosnian Islam) but the myth of national origin, which is consecrated by native religious institutions. Hypothetically, in spite of the three religions involved, a different mythmaking, in which religious institutions could have collaborated, could have made the three a single nation, provided they agreed to espoused common faith, not in a single heavenly God but in a common myth of national origin as a single nation.