Peasants, Pilgrims, and Sacred Promises: Ritual and the Supernatural in Orthodox Karelian Folk Religion

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Finnish Literature Society, Jan 1, 2002 - Religion - 229 pages
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Lying on the border between eastern and western Christendom, Orthodox Karelia preserved its unique religious culture into the 19th and 20th centuries, when it was described and recorded by Finnish and Karelian folklore collectors. This colorful array of rituals and beliefs involving nature spirits, saints, the dead, and pilgrimage to monasteries represented a unique fusion of official Church ritual and doctrine and pre-Christian ethnic folk belief. The book explores topics such as beliefs in supernatural forces, folk models of illness, holy icons, the role of the ritual specialist and healer, the divine between nature and culture, the cult of the dead, and the popular image of monasteries and holy hermits.

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Contents

Preface and acknowledgments
7
Folk religion and the sacred
20
Folk religion in Orthodox Karelia
34
Boundaries against disorder
75
disorder in the resource zone shared by humans
111
communal cohesion and disorder in
138
The natureculture dichotomy in communal selfdefinition
147
The pilgrimage vow and sacred ideals
157
two complexes
175
the sacred divided
192
Notes
201
Abbreviations for archival source materials
218
Index
227
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Laura Stark is assistant professor in the Program in Science in Society and the Department of Sociology at Wesleyan University.

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