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Journal for Peace and Justice Studies

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2021

Danica Lazović
Pages 21-43

Religion as a Cohesive or Divisive Factor in the Process of Peacebuilding
The Case Study of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The intensification of ethnic and religious identity, accompanied by growing tendencies for creating new national states and escalations of regional conflicts, characterize the post-Cold War era. This article examines the growing impact of religion and the potential of religious activism as a tool for peacebuilding. A case study of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be accompanied by a historical-genealogical approach and analysis and deduction methods. By using those methods, I will answer the question of whether religion has a cohesive role (building of civil society) or divisive effect (accentuation of mutual differences and distancing of ‘other’) in the process of peacebuilding. The research results show that religious activism did positively contribute to peacebuilding but that the existent conciliatory potential is not adequately used for overcoming mutual differences and the creation of civil society, primarily due to the political and institutional framework in which it operates.