1st Edition

Balkan Contextual Theology An Introduction

Edited By Stipe Odak, Zoran Grozdanov Copyright 2023
    332 Pages
    by Routledge

    332 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book opens a new research field in Balkan contextual theology. By embracing culturally rich traditions of the Western Balkans as its starting point, it explores their existential and theological bearings. Placed at the crossroads of civilisations and religions, this region has witnessed some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. At the same time, it has produced unique textures of inter-cultural life. The volume addresses some of the most poignant phenomena endemic to the region, such as sevdalinka music, intimate forms of neighborhood, archetypes of ‘sacred warriors,’ the experience of democratic jet lag, collective melancholy, and intergenerational trauma. As the first book of this nature, it aims to encourage further development of contextual theological thinking in the region and promote its international reception.

    Introduction: Balkan the Unifier and Balkan the Divider

    Stipe Odak and Zoran Grozdanov

    Part I: Religion, Politics, Identity

    1. Religion and National/Ethnic Identity – Theological and Contextual Positions in Islam

    Enes Karić

    2. Religion and National/Ethnic Identity – Theological and Contextual Positions in Orthodoxy

    Vukašin Milićević

    3. Divided Ecumenism – Christian Churches at the Fault Lines

    Radmila Radić and Neven Vukić

    4. IncarNation: On the Possibilities of Balkan Contextual Theology

    Zoran Grozdanov

    5. Gender and Religion in The Balkans: The Example of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Rebeka Anić and Zilka Spahić Šiljak

    6. "Democratic Jet-Lag" and EUgoslav Yutopias

    Davor Džalto

    Part II: Violence, God, Memory

    7. Prayer as the Curse: Religious Tabooization of God

    Marko Vučetić

    8. Balkan Love Triangle – God, Love, and Violence

    Drago Bojić and Viktor Ivančić

    9. Theology in the Spirit of Palanka: Catechism of Croatian Catholic and Serbian Orthodox Ethnonationalist Imaginaries

    Branko Sekulić

    10. Lost Bodies, Missing Persons and Extended Mourning

    Jadranka Brnčić

    11. Identities Built on the Memory of Wrongdoing and Ecumenism of Compassion

    Ivan Šarčević

    12. The Grace of Not Remembering: Painful Memories and Their Theological Implications

    Miroslav Volf

    Part III: Culture, Life, Longing

    13. Inat, the Explosive Instinct of Freedom: Towards the Theology of Spite

    Amila Kahrović Posavljak

    14. Other God or God of the Other: Sevdah, Queer Laments and the Balkan Religious Imagery

    Miljenko Jergović

    15. Neither Exclusionary Religious Nationalisms, Nor Abstract Religious Humanisms: Belonging and Border-Living in the Balkans

    Slavica Jakelić

    16. Komšiluk: The Starting Point of the Balkan Contextual Theology

    Stipe Odak

    17. The Rootless God – Theology of Emigrations

    Alida Bremer and Ivana Bodrožić

    18. Paradise Lost: Theology of Nostalgia and Hope

    Josip Novakovich


    Stipe Odak is a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium).

    Zoran Grozdanov is an Assistant Professor at the University Centre for Protestant Theology Matthias Flacius Illyricus at the University in Zagreb, Croatia.

    "Balkan Contextual Theology is a rich book, as polyphonic as is the Balkans that divides and unites. It is about liberated religions and nations after the collapse of Yugoslavia. This book is the first contextual and politically critical theology for the Balkans. Its theology is a model for other difficult regions." - Jürgen Moltmann, University in Tübingen, Germany

    "Balkan Contextual Theology introduces and explores the culturally rich religious traditions of the Western Balkans. A very significant contribution to Christian political theology. I highly recommend it." - Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Harvard University, USA

    "Scholars of religion usually talk about the Balkans. This book lifts up the unique questions and challenges posed to theology from within the Balkans, as well as the particular cultural, historical, and intellectual resources for enriching theological thinking. With contributions from scholars across disciplines, this book offers a much needed and valuable contribution to contextual theology." - Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University, USA