Focusing on Wounded Collective Identity: Toward a Regional Interpretation of Religious Processes in Central and Eastern Europe
Excerpt: "Defending the value system of Christian Europe, defending the nation with the help of God, and defending the nation against nationalism. Three recent statements from three different countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Such ideas and avowals lay the provocative groundwork to take a closer look to the points of connection between religion and security.
I have two theses to put forward, aiming to make them understandable and discussable. The first is that the region Central and Eastern Europe (hereafter CEE) can be appropriately interpreted in the theoretical framework of wounded collective identity. The primary marker of the region is the crucial hermeneutical power of the historical traumas and the strong presence of these traumas in the memory. The second point is that the presence and various roles of religions in the region can be adequately understood by investigating the theory of securitization. These two arguments may have a shocking effect. Scholars of religion, mainly trained in one or another of the social sciences, may be irritated by the arguments of wounded collective identity and securitization. They have experience with theories of modernization and secularization. I'm not against these latter approaches, and my goal is not to discredit their legitimacy. I am only convinced and motivated to argue for a better understanding, which takes the regional experiences more seriously.
As a scholar of religion, I will, first, posit security and securitization as the essential dimension of religion. Then, I will concentrate on the transformations and the shared identity of CEE. The region has been intrinsically threatened and wounded through global and regional processes. After describing the main marker of the region–a wounded collective identity–I will come to my second point. In a wounded world, in societies plagued by many insecurities, we can best understand religion in relation to security and insecurity."
Keynote at the conference of the European Association for the Study on Religions (EASR) in 2022 Cork, Ireland.
"Focusing on Wounded Collective Identity: Toward a Regional Interpretation of Religious Processes in Central and Eastern Europe,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 42
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol42/iss6/5