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The Madonna of Medjugorje: Religious Rivalry and the Formation of a Devotional Movement in Yugoslavia

Mart Bax
Anthropological Quarterly
Vol. 63, No. 2 (Apr., 1990), pp. 63-75
DOI: 10.2307/3318115
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3318115
Page Count: 13
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Abstract

Apparitions and pilgrimages have frequently been described in terms of rivalry, tension, and protest within the community of the faithful. Much less attention is paid to religious elites and their role in popular religion. This may be due in part to the nature of data sources, since many descriptions are historical reconstructions. The apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje (Yugoslavia) and the subsequent devotional movement provide an opportunity to focus systematically on religious elites, because all the participants are still living. It is argued that the evolution of the Yugoslav devotion is a function of the changing power relations between two categories of religious elites in the area. Although primarily intended as a contemporary case study, the article invites a new look at similar events.

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