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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 34 | volume VI | September-October, 2003



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 34September-October, 2003
Reviews

The Image of the Religion Syndrome in the Balkan World

/5
p. 1
Jasmina Mojsieva Guševa

    Emphasizing the fact that the religion[1] is the actual phenomenon which represents the collective spirit, and having in mind that this phenomenon is also quite important for shaping and comprehending each individual or national identity, with this paper – we would like to show how the problem of the religion syndrome[2] in the Balkans influences the individual and even national mentality, its identification with the national origins up to its numerous deviations as a result, through many examples from the Balkan literature in the XX century…
    This context comes from the domination of the western civilization upon the Balkans with its relaxed, even quasi-belief in God, practicing – mainly – the traditional church rituals. Their understanding depends on the idea that the life is a kind of a struggle. Accordingly to that, the weaponry appears as an instrument for life’s maintenance and preservation. With such logic of overcoming the obstacles with violence, the freedom comes to a form of an absurd. In such kind of a context, the human virtues, empathy and the correct treatment of the Other and everything that is foundation of the religious understanding – is lost.
    Because of the specific development, the Balkan is especially compatible for the implementation of the western logic and increasing of the religious conflicts. At the Balkans, the main contemporary religion groups have their origins in the Middle Ages, which mean that they traditionally bear the characteristic of the society in which they were originally established. These characteristics are xenophobia, centralized hierarchy, permanent manifestation of latent conflicts and external tension within different social forces. The face of Evil, or the Devil – the enemy, at first, concerns the heretics, unbelievers; afterwards, it spreads onto the social order and society in general. That structure has been valid during the five-century-long presence of the (Muslim) Ottoman Empire at the Balkans and later it has been replaced with the idea of the religiously orientated (Christianity) nation. The change from the religious beliefs epoch to the national states epoch on the Balkans happened in the second half of XIX century. The national and linguistic links – then – have become the new identity signifiers. Under the influence of the strong social process and external influences of the large Christian community at the Balkans, the region divides to numerous and separate national communities. Religion was put aside as a secondary in the processes of shaping the new national

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1. The term “religion” comes from the Latin language verb religare that means linking/gathering/connecting. It is the spiritual link between God and man. The basic of every religion is the faith in God. The other main characteristics are: the dogma, the cult and the morality. See: Macedonian Theology Terminology, MANU, Skopje, 1999, p.93.
2. The term faith in the Old Testament refers to the term/idea of Hope (to confirm and prove one’s submission to God). In the New Testament, the term faith refers exclusively to the Christian believing in God. See: New Concise Bible Dictionary, editor D. Williams, Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship, 1989, p.93.






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