Negotiating Marian Apparitions
The Politics of Religion in Transcarpathian Ukraine
This book concerns the politics of religion as expressed through apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Dzhublyk in Transcarpathian Ukraine. On the one hand, the analysis provides insights into the present position of Transcarpathia in regional, Ukraine-wide, and European struggles for identity and political belonging. The way in which the apparitions site has been conceived and managed raises questions concerning the fate of religious communities during and after socialism, the significance of national projects for religious organizations, and the politics of religious management in a situation in which local religious commitments are relatively strong and religious organizations are relatively weak. The analysis contributes to the ethnography and history of this particular region and of the post-socialist world in general. On the other hand, the changing status of the apparition site over the years allows investigation of the questions concerning authority, legitimacy, and power in religious organizations, especially in relation to management of religious experiences. The analysis aims at clarification of such concepts as religious institutions, organizations but also religious experiences and is relevant to anthropology, sociology and religious studies. It is argued that the important question in analyses of religious apparitions should not be how an individual experience becomes institutionalized and instrumentalized, but how experience becomes a tool for negotiation and transformation in the religious field. Key word: 1. Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint-–Apparitions and miracles–Ukraine–Zakarpats'kaoblast'. 2. Zakarpats'ka oblast' (Ukraine)–Church history.
About the Author
"The subject of Marian apparitions has long preoccupied scholars of religion, providing fertile ground for discussions of individual and collective aspects of Christian—both Catholic and Orthodox—religiosity. Agnieszka Halemba's monograph is a perfect example of what ethnographic study of the development of a Marian cult can bring, yet it also goes well beyond it, demonstrating that the issue of apparitions is a great point of departure, or a provocation, for exploration of much broader themes. If her book is going to be included in university syllabi—and I certainly hope it is—it will achieve that thanks to Halemba's astute engagement with a series of themes that lie at the heart of current debates on religion: those regarding the value of cognitive approaches, new forms of spirituality, transnational religious networks, and, most of all, the question of religious organization(s)."—Journal of Religion in Europe
Other Titles from Leipzig Studies on the History and Culture of East-Central Europe
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