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Writing culture in history: the view of anthropologist for understanding religious and cultural instruments of ethno-politics in historical perspective

Doja, A; (2001) Writing culture in history: the view of anthropologist for understanding religious and cultural instruments of ethno-politics in historical perspective. In: Suppan, A, (ed.) (Proceedings) Internationale Tagung: Zwischen verdrängter Erinnerung und künftiger Identität, die Zukunft Mittel- Ost- und Südosteuropas. Österreichisches Ost- und Südosteuropa-Institut: Wien.

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Abstract

In order to appreciate the very historical significance of, let say, the successive processes of conversion and re-conversion, among Albanians and other Southeast European populations during Ottoman domination, and to subject them to a more effective anthropological analysis, I argue they should be understood in terms of the social dynamics of an ideology of objectification and resistance against pressures exerted from authorities holding political and religious power. This approach enables to put the meaning of changes in religious affiliation into the perspective of negotiation and redefinition of social identities, leading to the transformation of the Southeast European world, its identities and ethnicities, and re-establishing traditions of political, social and national history. Religions and inter-religious relations are an important issue in the articulation of cultural heritage and social history, and the historical dialectics and actual significance of religious beliefs and practices are very important for communal attachment and ethnic identification. In this regard, it will be my contention that religious conversions, especially in Albanian case, have been by nature similar to heretical and millenarian movements of spiritual reform. Thereafter, as expressions of cultural conflict and social protest they effectively lead to national movements and nationalisms.

Type:Proceedings paper
Title:Writing culture in history: the view of anthropologist for understanding religious and cultural instruments of ethno-politics in historical perspective
Event:Internationale Tagung: Zwischen verdrängter Erinnerung und künftiger Identität, die Zukunft Mittel- Ost- und Südosteuropas
Additional information:13.-15. Dezember 2001 Writing culture in history: the view of anthropologist for understanding religious and cultural instruments of ethno-politics in historical perspective
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Anthropology

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