Orthodox-muslim Interactions at “Mixed Shrines” in Macedonia

Chris Hann and Hermann Goltz

in Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260559
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945920 | DOI:
Orthodox-muslim Interactions at “Mixed Shrines” in Macedonia

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Throughout all but the first three centuries of its existence, Orthodox Christianity shared borders with Islam across immense stretches of territory extending at times from North Africa to the steppes of Asia. This chapter focuses on Muslim–Christian interaction in one small portion of that shared borderland, examining intercommunal interaction in the context of religious shrines used by both communities in Macedonia. This investigation of Orthodox communities in their encounters with “their other” reveals aspects of Orthodox belief and practice that are less notable in more homogeneous settings. It also, by making visible the rich diversity of interactions possible between Muslims and Christians, highlights the necessity of discarding facile generalizations about intercommunal hostilities and of instead committing ourselves to fastidious and open-minded research into the contexts that promote neighborliness, the conditions that foment antagonism, and the forces that transform one into the other.

Keywords: Orthodox Christianity; Islam; Christians; Muslims; intercommunal interaction; religious shrines

Chapter.  10273 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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