Introduction of religion to state schools in Serbia and "orthodoxing" the identity of Serbian youth
Author(s)Malešević Miroslava Ž.
Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
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AbstractThis paper discusses the doggedness of Orthodox Christianity in a present-day Serbia. Although the existing Constitution guarantees the separation of church and the state, the Serbian Orthodox Church has significant influence on political and social issues. In fact, backed by the top echelon of the government, prevailing Orthodox attitudes have acquired the status of a national ideology, affecting in this way many spheres of public life. Indeed, Church influence appears to be so profound and its authority so unquestionable, that many analysts rightly claim that Serbia is increasingly turning towards radical clericalism. In this paper I examine Orthodox Christianity as a national ideology in the public life. The main question posed is: what is the impact of glorified principles, founded on traditional values of patriarchal-tribal society, on collective identity among Belgrade youth? Based on research conducted among senior students in two Belgrade schools, I was able to survey ways in which a polarization on a social plane reflects the moral choices of these young people. A special segment of the paper is dedicated to the collision of female identities: that thought in religious courses and other forums for „getting close to the faith“ on the one hand, and modern female identity shaped in the secular context, on the other.