Textbook Violence - James R. Lewis

Textbook Violence - James R. Lewis

Ignore the War: Concentrate on Peace: Textbook Analysis of Strategies in Post-conflict Societies: A Praxeological Approach

Textbook Violence - James R. Lewis

Zrinka Stimac [+-]
Georg Eckert Institute
Zrinka Štimac is Associate Professor at the Georg Eckert Institute, Department of Textbooks and Society. Her research interests include religion and diversity in education and educational media. Her 2010 doctorate was entitled "Religion and education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Concepts and strategies of religious and secular stakeholders since 1994" (Religion und Bildung in Bosnien und Herzegowina. Konzepte und Strategien religiöser und säkularer Deutungsträger nach 1994). Her latest publication is “Schulbuchforschung als Thema der Religionswissenschaft. Erfahrungen mit den Lehramtsstudierenden an der Universität Bielefeld, “in Praktische Religionswissenschaft. Theoretische und methodische Ansätze und Beispiele.


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.

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Stimac, Zrinka. Ignore the War: Concentrate on Peace: Textbook Analysis of Strategies in Post-conflict Societies: A Praxeological Approach. Textbook Violence. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 53-70 Aug 2017. ISBN 9781781792599. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30520. Date accessed: 30 Jan 2023 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30520. Aug 2017

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