In contemporary Serbian Orthodox texts, Kosovo is often referred to as the Serbian “Jerusalem”: a city calling for a Christian defense. All Serbs are bound to heed the call in keeping with the Kosovo “covenant” or “pledge” dating back to the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389, when Serbian troops, led by Prince Lazar, were defeated by the invading Muslim Ottoman army. The battle and Kosovo in general have since then assumed a central symbolic role in Serbian nationalism and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Furthermore, it has been claimed that the imagery and narratives of Kosovo were the ideological backdrop for the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s. This article investigates the development of the Serbian narratives and imagery pertaining to Kosovo and their modern form in the Serbian Orthodox Church in order to trace what type of imagery is dominant. The main focus will be on whether and to what extent the narratives of Christian defense and holy Serbian warriors fighting in the name of Christ are dominant. This investigation seeks to discuss whether the Kosovo imagery and narratives are formed upon and influenced by a broader Christian European antemurale myth.
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