The Role of Religiosity During Situations of Social Crisis. Example of the Homeland War in Vukovar

Ivana Bendra


War, as the most severe form of social crisis, leads to numerous changes in the personal and social aspects of the lives of individuals who are involved in it. The aim of this research is to determine the role and significance of religiosity for the individual, along with the social behavior of Vukovar’s Catholic population while they managed the war crisis situation (Homeland War in 1991). The research was conducted with the application of qualitative methodology: grounded theory methodology (paradigmatic model of Strauss and Corbin), in-depth interviews (12) and narrative analysis (72 publications from the collection of books about the Homeland War in Vukovar). The results, however, indicate that among the population, which primarily belongs to traditional church religiosity, a special form of personal, beyond the ritual, religiosity occurred, conditioned by the specific circumstances which the people found themselves in. Based on the developed substantive grounded theory, it is evident that people primarily practiced an individual personal relationship with a Transcendent being (God), which had a positive role in the population’s confrontation with the new circumstances, thus strongly affecting their personal and social behavior. Practicing such a relationship enabled them to achieve secondary control over their lives, as a substitute for the inability of primary control, thus developing spiritual strength to ease and cope with the social crisis/war situation.


traditional religiosity; personal religiosity; religious experience; religious practice; grounded theory paradigmatic model; Homeland War in Vukovar

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096