Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide
Hurst, 1999 - 233 pages
Heavenly Serbia traces Serbia's expansionist impulses to Serbian national mythology. The dominant myth - that of "Heavenly Serbia" - appeared soon after the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. It attributed the Serb's defeat by the Turks and the loss of the medieval Serbian state to the Serb's preference for moral salvation over military victory. By emphasizing their commitment to the heavenly kingdom and promising an eventual restoration of the Serbian empire, this myth helped the Serbs to bear their centuries-long domination by a foreign power. Though they ultimately shed the Turkish yoke and regained statehood in the nineteenth century, the Serbs, according to Anzulovic, retained this central myth in the form of feelings of superiority to their neighbors, and a sense of destiny ordaining them to become the dominant power in the Balkans. The myth has been perpetuated by political and religious leaders, historians, novelists, and artists, and has found acceptance abroad as well.
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This fact has led some observers to believe that we are dealing here with
religious wars . However , while religion is undoubtedly a very important identity
mark for Serbs , Croats , and Bosnian Muslims , the persons most responsible for
Its nonreligious functions were even expanded under the Turkish system of
millets — ethnoreligious communities of non - Islamic peoples , which enjoyed a
considerable degree of religious and cultural autonomy and were in charge of ...
The drastic neglect of the religious function of the Serbian Orthodox Church may
account for the unusually low popular interest in religion among present - day
Serbs . “ Opinion polls reported by Ilustrovana politika ( February 23 , 1982 ) ...
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An independent scholar living in Washington, DC, Anzulovic interprets Serbia's violent history as a consequence of historical legacies: Saint Sava's mystical identification of the church and nation ... Read full review
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