Bosnian multiconfessionalism as a foundation for intercultural dialogue
Keywords:multiconfessionalism, Bosnian Islam, Christian faith in Bosnia-Herzegovina, inter-religious dialogue, Bosnia- Herzegovina, multiculturalism
AbstractMuslim communities in the Balkans where the practice of Islam had been developed in the European context, can be used as an exemplification of the bridge between the Islamic East and the Christian West. Although for over 400 years Bosnia was under the Ottoman rule, Muslims became one of the many first Yugoslav, and then Bosnian communities, contributing to the dynamic, yet moderate area of ontological and axiological negotiations within the cultural borderland, sharing the living space with members of the Orthodox church, Catholics, a small Jewish community, and even Protestants. The history of the Muslim-Christian contacts in Bosnia involves both the examples of collisions, as well as encounters, initiated both by Christians, and by Muslims. This article analyzes the religious diversity (multiconfessionalism) in the historical and contemporary cultural and social context of Bosnia-Herzegovina, revealing its specificity, dynamics and (often unsuccessful) attempts to conceptualize it from the perspective of the Eurocentric discourse. The aim is not only to portray this religiously diverse makeup, but also to emphasize its potential for establishing ground for intercultural dialogue.
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