By John-Paul Himka, Andriy Zayarnyuk
Letters from Heaven positive factors a world staff of students investigating where and serve as of 'popular' faith in jap Slavic cultures. The participants learn well known spiritual practices in Russia and Ukraine from the center a long time to the current, contemplating the cultural contexts of loss of life rituals, miracles, sin and advantage, cults of the saints, and icons. the gathering not just fills a void in spiritual scholarship, but additionally responds to present theoretical demanding situations.
Reflecting seriously at the heuristic worth of renowned faith and at the inspiration of pop culture quite often, Letters from Heaven is characterised via a shift of concentration from church buildings, associations, and theological discourse to the non secular practices themselves and their interconnections with the tradition, mentality, and social constructions of the societies in query. a huge contribution to the fields of faith and japanese Slavic reports, this quantity demanding situations readers to reconsider outdated pieties and to reassess the functionality of faith.
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Extra info for Letters from Heaven : Popular Religion in Russia and Ukraine
Kalashnikov, ‘S. 171 on Sun, 18 Oct 2015 22:11:31 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Death Ritual among Russian and Ukrainian Peasants 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 39 etnograficheskago izucheniia Khar’kovskoi gubernii,’ part 1, ‘Starobel’skii uezd,’ Khar’kovskii sbornik 8 (1894): 234; Ben’kovskii, ‘Smert’,’ 243. Quoted in Ben’kovskii, ‘Smert’,’ 247. Ukrainian peasants believed that for forty days after death, when the deceased’s soul wandered the earth, the deceased would come back at night to haunt and chase with a stick anyone who refused to forgive the dead person of a major sin.
As peasants began to understand their universe in educated terms and embalming practices were introduced, belief in the walking dead gradually disappeared. The point at which that belief began to erode must still be determined. Ethnographers observing the peasants in the first two decades of the twentieth century noted that the belief in the unclean dead was still very strong. Death rituals among Russian and Ukrainian peasants of the late imperial period expressed the peasants’ view of the world as an unpredictable and often hostile place.
In 1887, with drought in their midst, the peasants removed the stone cross from the healer’s grave, broke it into several pieces, and buried the fragments out in the wild steppe. 171 on Sun, 18 Oct 2015 22:11:31 UTC All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions Death Ritual among Russian and Ukrainian Peasants 29 bodies of individuals believed responsible for natural disasters. However, it happened frequently enough for the bishop of Podol’ia and Bratslav in 1892 to admonish priests not to encourage peasants in their popular beliefs.