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*Editors:* Martina Topić (Zagreb) and Srdjan Sremac (Amsterdam)
Religion bears more significance in contemporary Europe then ever.
Burdened with horror of Anti-Semitism, Holocaust and numerous wars
European countries had among themselves, Europe decided to unite to
freely trade and for horrors of Holocaust and wars not to repeat again.
Inter-confessional collaboration flourished and it seemed as if Europe
indeed went towards ‘Unity in diversity’, at least when religion and
inter-confessional dialogue is concerned.
However, the threat from terrorism and radicalization of Islamists in
the world, made Europe face with growing Islamophobia and intolerance
and xenophobia towards religious ‘otherness’. In that sense, an
inter-confessional dialogue ran before obstacles in terms of maintaining
of the religious peace in Europe. Anti-Semitism that never fully
disappeared flourished again and all this made the EU reconsider its
Constitution from which the Brussels officially deleted Christian
heritage recognizing the rights of non-Christians and their long
presence in Europe as well as calming down the emotions of radical Islam by openly pointing towards exclusion of religion from public matters.
However, does this work in practice? Can we ignore the importance of
religion in Europe? Can we exclude and ignore the religious? How can we
combat religious intolerance and xenophobia towards religious ‘othernesses? Can religion jeopardize the ‘European project’? How
religion affects identity creation on local and supra-national level?
These and other questions will be examined in a volume concentrating on European case studies including old, new and potential EU members by examining what suits best each case with an attempt to answer the
ultimate question: what does religion means for Europe?