400 anja peleikis © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2001 Die Welt des Islams 41, 3 SHIFTING IDENTITIES, RECONSTRUCTING BOUNDARIES. THE CASE OF A MULTI-CONFESSIONAL LOCALITY IN POST-WAR LEBANON BY ANJA PELEIKIS In the Western understanding of the Middle East, religion has often been mentioned as the main reason for conflicts, outbreaks of violence, civil war and wars in the region. Unchanging religious identities rooted in people’s traditions are still considered the main hindrance to modernity, development and peace. 1 Lebanon is often described as the worst case of all with its seventeen officially registered religious communities and fifteen years of protracted civil war, and “Lebanisation” has even become the international term for ethnic-religious clashes worldwide. 2 In constrast to interpretations that see outbreaks of violence as the result of age-old religious passions, I follow approaches argu- ing that Lebanese confessional identities cannot be taken as a deep-rooted social reality but as having been actively produced, and reproduced in an on-going process. This (re-)construction process has become more and more globalised as a result of rural- urban and transnational migration and wartime displacement, all of which led to the emergence of deterritorialised social spaces. Social actors are now re-negotiating
Die Welt des Islams – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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