Living acts of Dead Bodies. Death and Religion of the Nation in Serbia in 19th Century Cover Image

Жива дела мртвих тела. Смрт и религија нације у Србији 19. века
Living acts of Dead Bodies. Death and Religion of the Nation in Serbia in 19th Century

Author(s): Aleksandra Pavićević
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Етнографски институт САНУ
Keywords: religion; nation; death; Vuk Karadžić; Dositej Obradović

Summary/Abstract: It is widely known and has been more or less elaborated in scientific literature that return to religion in the area of former SFRY was conducted hand-in-hand with the development of the new national states and establishment of new/old ethnic borders and identities. This is why it is logical that this phenomenon is frequently qualified as the religion of the nation and nationalism. However, this qualification frequently lacks insight into the fact that return to religion also meant increased interest in religious teachings and dogmas, as well as greater attendance at Church rituals. Even though it is certain that, among the large percentage of those who declared themselves as Orthodox Serbs during the last Census, a very small number of them are actually active believers; thus, the evident restoration of the internal, liturgical life of the Church suggests certain issues and advises prudence in labeling modern forms of religiousness and the role of the Church in their development. Historical conditions which led to the phenomenon of religion of the nation in Serbia in 19 century justify the hypothesis that religion of the nation was not, and still is not, something to have sprouted out under the auspices of the Church, but that it has occurred as a state/secular ideological project, whose links to religion are of purely non-religious nature. In order to corroborate this statement, I will try to determine and show what was in the basis of this secular religion of 19 century, and answer the question relating to the manner in which its content was shaped. I will do this based on an analysis of political use of dead bodies, i.e. relocation of mortal remains of Vuk Karadžić from Vienna to Belgrade, and restoration of the grave of Dositej Obradović, which was performed on the same occasion.

  • Issue Year: LIX/2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 7-17
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Serbian