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“And so lived our ancestors…”

Peter Slovtsov’s Urals Childhood and Its Meanings

Mark A. Soderstrom

This article examines the Urals roots and self-perception of the Siberian historian and bureaucrat Peter Andreevich Slovtsov (1767–1843). Best known as the author of the two-volume Historical Survey of Siberia (1838–43), Slovtsov is often described as the first Siberian patriot and precursor to the Siberian regionalist movement. Drawing on a range of published and archival sources to analyze how Slovtsov made sense of his family roots in the Urals region, the author suggests that Slovtsov is best understood as a man of the empire who understood both his own life trajectory and Siberian history as fruits of enlightened imperial rule.

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Assessing and Adapting Rituals That Reproduce a Collectivity

The Large-Scale Rituals of the Repkong Tantrists in Tibet

Nicolas Sihlé

powerful and/or violent ( wangdrak [dbang drag]) forms of ritual. 6 Sociologically, the tantrists constitute a weakly structured, non-centralized form of clergy. 7 A common pattern in most Tibetan areas consists of more or less isolated tantrist family

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Hidden Practice in Magadan

Parishioner Anxieties and Diocesan Perspectives on Russian Orthodoxy

Alexandra S. Antohin

The realities of Magadan's Soviet past have greatly influenced how the Russian Orthodox Church characterizes the city as devoid of a strong Church legacy. This article discusses how the imprint of underground approaches to religion remains today in the form of traditions of hidden practice, religious engagement, and expression without direct church involvement. Using material from ethnographic research of a Russian Orthodox diocese, this article argues that hidden practice—initially precipitated by historical circumstances—is now being exercised by some Orthodox Christians as a choice. The article is based primarily on ethnographic interviews with members of the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Magadan

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For Women's Rights, Church, and Fatherland

The Lithuanian Catholic Women's Organisation, 1908-1940

Indrė Karčiauskaitė

This article examines the history of the Lietuviu Katalikiu Moteru Draugija (LKMD, Lithuanian Catholic Women's Organisation) from its foundation in 1908 to its disbandment under Soviet occupation in 1940. Special attention is paid to the LKMD's changing relationship with the Catholic clergy and Lithuanian nationalism. Exploring which type of feminism the LKMD represented, the article focuses on attitudes of the LKMD leadership towards women's rights, participation in society, and paid employment. The beginning of the 1920s is shown to have been a turning point. At that time many educated women became active in order to enshrine women's rights in the statutes of the newly independent Lithuanian State. Several of them joined the LKMD, subsequently succeeding in reducing the clergy's influence on the organisation's central board. The LKMD, it turns out, was a good example of a women's organisation espousing relational feminism (Karen Offen's term), insisting on women's participation in society as being distinct from men's, particularly in relation to women's role as mothers, while taking a stand for equality between men and women, especially with respect to judicial issues.

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Ecaterina Lung


• The aim of this article is to highlight the ways in which women were represented in Byzantine historical works from the sixth to the ninth centuries. These are probably the best sources for a comprehensive understanding of Byzantine society, since they are more vivid, more related to literature than the law codes or archival documents, and less biased than the clergy’s writings. Like “Barbarians,” women were thought to be inferior, irrational, highly emotional, and unable to control their impulses. Byzantine women did not seem to have an identity of their own; they were always thought to be a reflection of a male. Byzantine authors believed that the normal behavior for women was to remain secluded in their houses, but when they actually presented individual women, these were almost always those who did not confine themselves to women’s quarters. A woman’s main avenue of entering written history was to behave like a man, renouncing her gender and acting in an independent manner.

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The 'Orthodoxy' of Orthodoxy

On Moral Imperfection, Correctness, and Deferral in Religious Worlds

Andreas Bandak and Tom Boylston

This article uses ethnographic studies of Orthodox Christianities as a way to investigate the concept of 'orthodoxy' as it applies to religious worlds. Orthodoxy, we argue, is to be found neither in opposition to popular religion nor solely in institutional churches, but in a set of encompassing relations among clergy and lay people that amounts to a religious world and a shared tradition. These relations are characterized by correctness and deferral—formal modes of relating to authority that are open-ended and non-definitive and so create room for certain kinds of pluralism, heterodoxy, and dissent within an overarching structure of faith and obedience. Attention to the aesthetics of orthodox practice shows how these relations are conditioned in multi-sensory, often non-linguistic ways. Consideration of the national and territorial aspects of Orthodoxy shows how these religious worlds of faith and deferral are also political worlds.

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'I wyl wright of women prevy sekenes'

Imagining Female Literacy and Textual Communities in Medieval and Early Modern Midwifery Manuals

Jennifer Wynne Hellwarth

Defining the term ‘literacy’ in medieval and early modern England is not a simple task; it defies the more modern (and relatively uncomplicated) definition of having the ability to read and write. In medieval terminology, a litteratus was someone who was learned in Latin, while an illitteratus was someone who was not. Eventually, litteratus and illitteratus came to be associated with the clergy and laity respectively. But these terms were not used for describing literacy in the vernacular, or the various categories and levels of competence in both reading and writing, either in Latin or in the vernacular. Recently, scholars have increasingly been thinking in terms of multiple ‘literacies’, especially when considering the more elusive female literacy. In her 1998 book, Gender and Literacy on Stage in Early Modern England, Eve Sanders asserts that literacy practices following the Reformation played a role in the formation of gender identity, and that ‘different levels and forms of literacy’ were assigned to each gender. Sanders contributes to what is the project of a growing number of literary scholars, such as Margaret Ferguson and Frances Dolan, who study literacy using gender as a category of examination. By adding gender to the mix, these scholars challenge the more narrow definitions of literacy such as those established by David Cressy’s influential Literacy and the Social Order. They have sought instead to define literacies by exploring the multiple ways in which the ‘products of a culture can be acquired and transmitted.’

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A Sectarian Rite Gone Mainstream and Cutting-Edge

The Blossoming of Forms of Prayer for Jewish Worship Volume I

Eric L. Friedland

At the outset of the Victorian Era the liturgy of the newly formed British Reform Judaism made its first appearance in Forms of Prayer. It was essentially a rather traditional, yet venturesome prayer book by the largely self-taught charismatic spiritual leader, David W. Marks, for a congregation made up of Anglicised Sephardic and Ashkenazic families, the West London Synagogue. Unique in prayer book reform, the new rite was marked by a deemphasis on the Rabbinic tradition and a move towards an enlightened biblicism. Thus it acquired a bit of a sectarian look. Over time this qualified scriptural reductionism gave way, in the 1920s and 30s, during the days of Rabbis Morris Joseph and Harold Reinhart, to an increased appreciation of Rabbinic law and teaching and, with the influx of Liberal rabbis from Continental Europe after the Second World War, to a recovery of a connectedness with all of world Jewry. A new generation of native-born rabbis (Lionel Blue and Jonathan Magonet) produced volumes of Forms of Prayer from 1977 onward for an entire movement that carried on the Marks legacy and the learned contributions of the postwar German rabbis, while simultaneously going in wholly fresh directions. Bringing the longest continuing Reform siddur into the twenty-first century have been the energetic joint efforts of clergy, scholars and laity under the multifaceted editorial guidance of Jonathan Magonet.

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Jonathan Magonet, Albert H. Friedlander, and Evelyn Friedlander

The Art of Public Prayer: Not for Clergy Only (second edition), Lawrence A. Hoffman, Sky-Light Paths Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 1999, 270 pp., $17.95, ISBN 1-893361-06-3

A Heart of Many Rooms: Celebrating the Many Voices within Judaism, David Hartman, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 1999, 298 pp, $24.95, ISBN 1-58023-048-2

Moses - The Prince, the Prophet: His Life, Legend and Message for Our Lives, Rabbi Levi Meier, Woodstock, VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998, 224 pp., $23.95, ISBN 1-58023-013-X

Voices from Genesis: Guiding Us Through the Stages of Life, Norman J Cohen, Woodstock, VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998, 179 pp., $21.95, ISBN 1-879045-75-3

These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life, Arthur Green, Woodstock, VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1999, 304 pp. (hc), $21.95, ISBN 1-58023-024-5

New Voices in Jewish Thought: a collection of essays edited by Keith Harris with a foreword by Jonathan Webber. Volume Two, London, Limmud Publications, 1999, 101 pp., ISBN 0-9532273-2-4

Lebendiges Judentum II - Predichtung und Betrachtnung eines Rabbines 1990-1995, Israel Aaron Ben Yosef, Arbeiten von Ursula Harver und Rahel Rosenzweig, Erhaus gegeben von Erhard Roy Wien, Hartung-Gorre Verlag Konstanz, 1999, 219 pp., DM44. ISBN: 3-89649-382-5

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Missionary and Scholar

Russian Orthodox Archbishop Nil Isakovich's Perception of Tibetan Buddhism in Eastern Siberia

Anna Peck

Nil (Isakovich), bishop of the Irkutsk and Nerchinsk eparchy from 1838 to 1853, completed a major work on Tibetan Buddhism, Buddizm, razsmatrivaemyi v otnoshenii k posledovateliam ego, obitaiushchim v Sibiri (Buddhism, examined in relation to its Siberian followers), published in St. Petersburg in 1858. It was a thorough description of Buddhist doctrine, rites, and organizational structures in the Transbaikal. The bishop observed the rapid spread of Buddhism with the growth of the number of followers, clergy, and monasteries (datsan) in this area. As a Christian missionary, he tried to find out the reasons why this teaching was so powerful and influential, and why Buddhism became so popular among the Buriat population, attracting far more converts from native Shamanism than Christianity. Nil was interested in organizational aspects, hierarchical structure, Buddhist dharma, everyday rituals, and ceremonies during major holidays. Throughout his book, Nil presented his erudition and understanding of the Buddhist tradition. He used numerous sources in Tibetan, Mongolian, Latin, Russian and French. The quality of his writing varies greatly from other contemporary works of the Russian Orthodox missionaries. Unfortunately, Nil's book, published in Russian, was unknown to the majority of European scholars of that time.