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This book brings together eleven studies which approach the role of religion and violence in the construction of collective identities in the Balkans. The chronological purview is wide, stretching from the 17th to the 20th centuries with the requisite excursions to even earlier times. A number of other salient themes also run through these essays, adding to their internal cohesion, such as the Ottoman past of the region and the transition from pre-national to national modes of belonging. The enduring influence of Orthodoxy in shaping Balkan identities is contrasted with the modern conception of language as a crucial determinant of nationalism. An attempt has also been made to analyze not only the perceptions of the Balkan elites who did the talking about identity, be they Phanariot princes, patriarchs, politicians and intellectuals, but also of those who did the listening, be they illiterate peasants or brigands.