Learning from Bosnia: Approaching Tradition

By Rusmir Mahmutćehajić; Saba Risaluddin et al. | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION:
THE ACHIEVEMENT OF BOSNIA

It is difficult to find any book on contemporary issues published in the last decade of the second Christian millennium that does not also deal with Bosnia and Herzegovina.1 Unfortunately, this is not the result of any interest in the distinctive nature of Bosnia and its history, although there has long existed sufficient justification for that. Addressing Bosnia has been prompted, rather, by the war that devastated this country as the world looked on, its contemplation of events recast into a ritual of shame. Yet, despite the many books written about the war, and read and interpreted according to various ideological matrixes, both the country and the war against it remain, for the most part, misunderstood.

Bosnia is the only European country that throughout its history has been entirely based upon a unity of religious differences, the very differences that are central to the peace and stability of the world of the coming millennium. This tendency can be illustrated with three paradigmatic accounts from the history of Bosnia.

In the year 1203, in the presence of their head of state, the Ban Kulin, and before the papal chaplain and ambassador, Johannis de Casamaris, Bosnia’s religious leaders were encouraged to renounce those elements of their Christian faith and rituals that did not conform to the regulations of the Roman Church. In doing so, they were required to change their attitude toward the Other, as the following abjuration makes plain: “and no one of whom we would be certain that he is a Manichaean or any other sort of heretic shall we accept to live among us.”2

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Learning from Bosnia: Approaching Tradition
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Author’s Note ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xxiii
  • Prologue 1
  • Introduction - The Achievement of Bosnia 5
  • 1 - The Forms of Expression of a Single Truth 17
  • 2 - Submissiveness, Emotion, and Knowledge 27
  • 3 - The Apprenticeship of Submission and Freedom 37
  • 4 - The Lower Horizons of Freedom 48
  • 5 - Pride and Humility 58
  • 6 - The Dispute over Names 67
  • 7 - The Word Held in Common 76
  • 8 - Wealth in Poverty 85
  • 9 - Other Gods but Him 94
  • 10 - Two Histories 104
  • 11 - The Ideology of Nation 114
  • 12 - The Chasm of the Future 125
  • Epilogue 135
  • Notes 141
  • Bibliography 157
  • Other Works by Rusmir MahmutćEhajić 163
  • Index 165
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