Juraj Buzalka analyses the interplay between religion, politics and memory in the context of postsocialist transformations in south-east Poland. He shows that two Catholic churches play a crucial role in commemorations of the warfare and ethnic cleansings that took place here during and after the Second World War: while the Roman Catholic Church claims a privileged status for the Polish nation, the Greek Catholic Church does the same for the Ukrainian minority. Central to Buzalka's analysis are changing forms of tolerance and multiculturalism, and the emergence of "post-peasant populism", a political culture rooted in rural social structures, ideologies and narratives, and saturated with religion.
Buzalka's work is an innovative contribution to political anthropology and his findings will also be of interest to political scientists, social historians and sociologists.
Juraj Buzalka is a lecturer in social anthropology at Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2003-2006 he was a doctoral candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, Germany.