Considering the Problem of Religion and Collective Identity: Catholicism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia

JVF Conference Papers

The origins of collectivistic religions in a number of former communist countries have commonly been traced to the post-communist revival of nationalism.

Contrasting the Roman Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia, I will argue that the elucidation of the collectivistic features of religion in some ex-communist societies may not be attained by addressing their similarities but rather their differences; specifically, by asking why collectivistic traits characterize religions in some and not in all post-communist societies.

The latter demands a shift in perspective – a transfer of analytical focus from the relationship between nationalism and religion, to the place of religion in the general problem of collective identification.

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