Slavica Jakelic

Slavica Jakelic is Research Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and Co-Director of the Program on Religion, Culture, and Democracy at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. She is a co-editor of two volumes, The Future of the Study of Religion and Crossing Boundaries: From Syria to Slovakia, and of The Hedgehog Review?s issue “After Secularization.” She has written for both academic and broader audiences on theories of religion, the public role of religions in modern societies, secularization and secularism, religion and violence, and religious dialogue. She is presently working on a book entitled Religion as Identity: The Challenge of Collectivistic Religion in the Contemporary World.

Jakelic, a Croat from the coast of Dalmatia, first became interested in Bosnia in 1994, during a week she spent in Sarajevo while the city was still under the siege of the Serbian troops. It was then that she experienced first-hand two things that compelled her to study religion, group identities, and tolerance in Bosnia: the defiant nature of a uniquely Bosnian sense of humor, shared by the Bosnian Croats, Muslims, and Serbs alike, and the Bosnian ideal of citizenship, which affirmed the equal dignity of all group identities without abolishing any of them.

Hope and uncertainty . . . in Bosnia and beyond

How can people find hope if their lives are shaped by extreme political and economic circumstances? How can a person flourish if the culture that made her values and actions meaningful seems to have been destroyed? How can the idea of the good life and good society be...