Recasting Anthropological Perspectives on Vernacular Islam in Southeast Europe

An Introduction

in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

When Tone Bringa published Being Muslim the Bosnian Way in 1995, the book soon became the hallmark of anthropological studies of Islam in Southeast Europe. In the wake of the tragic events in Bosnia-Herzegovina ensuing from the breakdown of Yugoslavia, it provided much needed intimate insights into the complex entanglement of religion, politico-religious symbolism and identitarian politics in the wartorn country. Furthermore, it complicated the immediate proliferation of the ‘quick solution’ paradigms – clash of civilisations, or ‘old’ ethnic hatred – that had been adopted with ease by many international and local politicians, as well as by scholars working in the region, and that soon became the mainstream of academic discourse during and especially in the years after the war.

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