Ethno-Religious Minorities and Religious Encounters in Borderlands of Banat
Vortragende: Dr. Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Belgrade, Serbia
The presentation focuses on ethnic and religious minority groups living in the borderlands of Serbian and Romanian Banat and their interactions especially during communist period. The late 19th and the first decades of the 20th century were characterized by border shifts and the appearance of new religious groups, such as neo-Protestants. The emergence of these new communities had a profound social, cultural and political impact on the region. This led to new religious impulses, some of which resulted in conversions to other forms of Christianity, appearance of „home-grown“, as well as renewal religious movements.
Focusing on the role that religious persecution and social marginalization played during communist years, the presentation explores interreligious encounters in Banat and religious transformations that brought new relations dynamics between majority and minority communities. Ethnic and religious pluralism which characterizes Banat landscape has been chosen as ethnographic fieldwork site in order to identify and reflect on ethno-religious identity differences with regards to religious change and mutual influences between religious groups. This research, framed by the anthropology of borders (Ballinger 2004) and the liminal character of home-grown religious groups (Kapaló 2017), focuses on religious agency of non-nation forming religious minority groups, such Orthodox Christian renewal communities and Baptists, Pentecostals, Adventists and Nazarenes in Serbian and Romanian Banat.