Balkan Idols: Religion and Nationalism in Yugoslav States by Vjekoslav Perica

By Vjekoslav Perica

Reporting from the heartland of Yugoslavia within the Nineteen Seventies, Washington publish 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 millions of lives, the previous Yugoslavia's 4 wars ravaged over 1000 non secular structures, many purposefully destroyed by means of Serbs, Albanians, and Croats alike, delivering an apt architectural metaphor for the region's fresh history.

Rarely has the human impulse towards monocausality--the desire for a unmarried explanation--been in higher facts than in Western makes an attempt to make feel of the country's bloody dissolution. From Robert Kaplan's debatable Balkan Ghosts, which pointed out entrenched ethnic hatreds because the driver at the back of Yugoslavia's death to NATO's dogged pursuit and arrest of Slobodan Milosevic, the search for simple solutions has usually served to vague the Balkans' advanced heritage. possibly such a lot strangely, no publication has targeted explicitly at the position faith has performed within the conflicts that proceed to torment southeastern Europe.

Based on a variety of South Slav resources and formerly unpublished, frequently exclusive records from communist kingdom files, in addition to at the author's personal on-the-ground event, Balkan Idols explores the political function and impression of Serbian Orthodox, Croatian Catholic, and Yugoslav Muslim spiritual firms over the process the final century. Vjekoslav Perica emphatically rejects the inspiration "clash of civilizations" has performed a significant function in fomenting aggression. He reveals no compelling proof of an upsurge in non secular fervor one of the common inhabitants. relatively, he concludes, the first non secular avid gamers within the conflicts were activist clergy. This activism, Perica argues, allowed the clergy to imagine political energy with no the accountablity confronted through democratically-elected officials.

What emerges from Perica's account is a deeply nuanced figuring out of the background and stricken way forward for certainly one of Europes so much unstable regions.

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