Vernacular religion is religion as people experience, understand, and practice it. It shapes everyday culture and disrupts the traditional boundaries between 'official' and 'folk' religion. The book analyses vernacular religion in a range of Christian denominations as well as in indigenous and New Age religion from the nineteenth century to today. How these differing expressions of belief are shaped by their individual, communal and national contexts is also explored. What is revealed is the consistency of genres, the persistence of certain key issues, and how globalization in all its cultural and technological forms is shaping contemporary faith practice. The book will be valuable to students of ethnology, folklore, religious studies, anthropology, and religious studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Vernacular Religion, Generic Expressions and the Dynamics of Belief Part I: Belief as Practice 2. Everyday, Fast and Feast: Household Work and the Production of Time in Pre-Modern Russian Orthodox Karelia, Marja-Liisa Keinanen 3. How to Make a Shrine with Your Own Hands: Local Holy Places and Vernacular Religion in Russia, Alexander Panchenko 4. "I make my saints work ...": A Hungarian Holy Healer's Identity Reflected in Autobiographical Stories and Folk Narratives, Judit Kis-Halas 5. Chronic Illness and the Negotiation of Vernacular Religious Belief, Anne Rowbottom Part II: Traditions of Narrated Belief 6. Autobiographical and Interpretative Dynamics in the Oral Repertoire of a Vepsian Woman, Madis Arukask and Taisto-Kalevi Raudalainen 7. Hidden Messages: Dream Narratives about the Dead as Indirect Communication, Agnes Hesz 8. Religious Legend as a Shaper of Identity: St. Xenia in the Mental Universe of a Setu Woman, Merili Metsvahi Part III: Relationships between Humans and Others 9. Things Act: Casual Indigenous Statements about the Performance of Object-Persons, Graham Harvey 10. Haunted Houses and Haunting Girls: Life and Death in Contemporary Argentinian Folk Narrative, Maria Ines Palleiro 11. Angels in Norway: Religious Border-Crossers and Border-Markers, Ingvild Salid Gilhus 12. "We, too, have seen a great miracle": Conversations and Narratives on the Supernatural among Hungarian-Speaking Catholics in a Romanian Village, Eva Pocs Part IV: Creation and Maintenance of Community and Identity 13. Komi Hunter Narratives, Art Leete and Vladimir Lipin 14. Stories of Santiago Pilgrims: Tradition Through Creativity, Tiina Sepp 15. Restoring/Restorying Arthur and Bridget: Vernacular Religion and Contemporary Spirituality in Glastonbury, Marion Bowman Part V: Theoretical Reflections and Manifestations of the Vernacular 16. Belief as Generic Practice and Vernacular Theory in Contemporary Estonia, Ulo Valk 17. Some Epistemic Problems with a Vernacular Worldview, Seppo Knuuttila Afterword: Manifestations of the Religious Vernacular: Ambiguity, Power and Creativity, Leonard Norman Primiano
Marion Bowman, Open University, and Ülo Valk, University of Tartu, Estonia