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Adamant And Treacherous: Serbian Historians On Religious Conversions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes representations of religious conversions in Serbian historiography that make up some of the core Serbian nationhood myths. It examines the recasting of certain aspects of the myths, and the exploitation of these myths, that took place in the years preceding and during the most recent wars in former Yugoslavia. The survival of the conversion myths is striking as it seems to defy the growing distance from the time of the events they refer to, the seemingly insignificant role of religion in modern society, and the fact that many of them had already been successfully demystified. And in Serbia, there have been studies that have provided alternative, non-nationalist modes of explanation. The chapter presents these examples of contesting the mythologized conversion paradigm. Finally, it elucidates the role religion had in the formation of the Serbian national consciousness, and shows that religious intolerance is one of its main features.

Keywords: religious conversions; religious intolerance; Serbian historiography; Serbian nationhood myths; Yugoslavia



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