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Religion and Trauma

Prof. Dr Ruard Ganzevoort
Dr Srdjan Sremac

Finally, Dr. Srdjan Sremac reflected on Collective Trauma, Nationalism, and Religion.  He did so by exploring the case of Serbia and the Balkan countries, describing what has happened there during the 1990s’ civil war and what has resulted in a “frozen conflicts”: war is over, but there are ongoing conflicts and issues in society which could be seen or described as collective trauma. In such a context, the experience of collective trauma is energized or fueled by the phenomenon of nationalism – as it became visible by watching a documentary on interviews with people and their perceptions on history and the current context.

One of the interesting things to be stressed in reflecting on the dynamics of trauma, collective trauma, and trans-generational trauma is that, as seen in the Balkan conflicts, collective trauma does not necessarily emerge from a traumatic experience per se, but it could also be the result of social construction with time. Here the role of culture and how culture is shaped and shapes people and new generations is to be considered and studied with more attention when addressing trauma and trauma healing.

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