Aleksandra Đurić Milovanović

Institute for Balkan Studies SASA, Belgrade

Hidden Religious Landscapes”: Religious Minorities and Religious Renewal Movements in the Borderlands of the Serbian and Romanian Banat

Abstract: The paper explores the ways religious grassroots actors in the borderlands contribute to the new understanding of cross border regions and religious groups in the space between the Serbian and Romanian Banat from the perspective of the anthropology of borders. The border region included in this paper was the place of interreligious and interethnic encounter, where religions and languages mixed and there was a continuous interaction between Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Protestants. By studying the region that had strong cultural, historical and religious connections, the aim is to provide new insights on the borders and religious groups that are understudied. This article explores the “liminal” character of religious identities, development of renewal movements and crossing symbolic boundaries with the examples of the “home-grown” religious movement of the Lord's Army (Rom. Oastea Domnului) emerged in the first decades of the 20th century.

Keywords: Orthodox Christian renewal movements, the Lord's Army, Romanians, grassroots religious movements, neo-Protestants, the Serbian and the Romanian Banat.