Ekaterina Yagafova, Igor Petrov

Chuvash Religious Practices: Traditions and Their Transformation (Late 20th – Early 21st Century)

  • Management of Technology and Innovation

The paper examines modern religious practices of two ethno-confessional groups of the Chuvash — Orthodox and unbaptized, shows the traditional forms of worship and their trans-formation at the turn of the century, determines the compliance of existing practices with the "norms" of the declared religious identity. The study showed that changes in religious prac-tices were manifested in the reduction in number of participants, in the reduction of rituals and the disappearance of a number of elements, in the festivization of the festive and ritual culture, the loss of the original meaning of religious rituals, but at the same time in the growth of activity of the Orthodox Chuvash in the formation of the sacred landscape of their villages and the performance of religious cult. For both groups, there is a discrepancy be-tween confessional identity and actual religious practices: among the Orthodox — in the form of Orthodox-pagan syncretism and dual faith, among the unbaptized — in the form of elements of Orthodox culture and participation in Orthodox rituals. They are caused by the instability of confessional "borders" due to religious conversion, and the transformation of ritual practices. The study is based on the author's field materials collected in Chuvash vil-lages in the Samara region, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, and the Chuvash Republic.

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