Religion and magic have played important roles within Eastern European societies where social reality and sociopolitical balance may differ greatly from those in the West. Although often thought of as being two distinct, even antagonistic forces, religion and magic find ways to work together. By taking on various examples in the multicultural settings of post-Soviet and postsocialist spaces, this collection brings together diverse historical and ethnographic analyses of orthodoxy and heterodoxy from the pre- and post-1989 periods, studies on the relationship of religious and state institutions to individuals practicing alternative forms of spirituality, and examples of borderlands as spaces of ambiguity. This volume is at the crossroads of anthropology, history, as well as cultural memory studies. Its archival and field research findings help understand how repurposing religious and magic practices worked into the transition that countries in Eastern Europe and beyond have experienced after the end of the Cold War.
About the Author
Alexandra Cotofana is a Ph.D candidate in sociocultural anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington, where she is also director of the In Light Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.
James M. Nyce is professor of cultural anthropology at Ball State University. He is also a visiting professor in Lund University's Master's Program in Human Factors and System Safety, and at the National Defence College in Stockholm, as well as an adjunct professor in the departments of health and environment at Linköping University and of radiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Table of Contents
Foreword Patrick Lally Michelson 7
Introduction Alexandra Cotofana James M. Nyce 17
Common Work on the Future: Concept of Healing in Neo-Shamanism Tatiana Buzekova 33
What Does It Mean to Be a True Orthodox in Post-Secular Russia: Attitude Toward Magic Among Orthodox Believers in the Middle Ural Ekaterina Grishaeva Valeria Shumkova 51
How to Become the "Slavic-Aryans": The Founders of the Russian Neo-Paganism and Their Ambitions Victor Shnirelman 75
The Curse Prayers of Saint Vasile or How to "Declare War to the Devil" Alexandra Cotofana 99
Maternity Rituals in the Soviet Western Ukrainian Borderland Dzvenyslava Hanus 119
"Media Witches" in the 21st-century Russia Tatiana Khoruzhenko 141
(Un)orthodox Practice: Magic and Retraditionalization in Post-Socialist Serbia Sarah Rafailjovic 157
Health Magic in Russian New Age Anna Ozhiganova 175
List of Contributors 175