Ignore the War: Concentrate on Peace: Textbook Analysis of Strategies in Post-conflict Societies: A Praxeological Approach
Zrinka Stimac [+]
Georg Eckert Institute
The textbooks for religious education – Islamic, Catholic and Serbian-Orthodox – miss the opportunity to deal with war atrocities, violence and ongoing conflicts in the society after the most recent war in Bosnia and Herzegowina. Instead – to a different extent and in a different quality – they concentrate on their own history and identity which is connected with war-related discourse. Additionally, they do not, or only seldom, deal with the communist past and the violence committed during that period of time. Nevertheless, the “atheist danger” is presented and addressed rather openly in the textbooks. To concentrate on their own history and identity can be seen both as a problematic and an inevitable issue. It is problematic, because the political, national, inter-religious and other tensions can be strengthened through religious education. On the other hand it seems to be inevitable, because in the multi-ethnic, post-conflict states the collective identities must be “shaped” and “adjusted” anew on different levels. This article argues that the neglected debate on conflict and violence is not an indication of intellectual and pedagogical inability to deal with the war. Instead it is firstly a strategy to deal with historical ambivalences and social problems that cannot be solved. Secondly it is a strategy of Churches and Religious Communities to deal with their own inner tensions and thirdly it seems to be a normative “must,” that religious organizations after the war are responsible for “peace and freedom” discourse.