Accepted paper:

The syncretism of Christian Orthodoxy and black magic in Macedonia: everyday ritual practice and ritual avoidance of the contamination of the body

Authors:

Violeta Schubert (University of Melbourne)

Paper short abstract:

The focus on the body as both agent and instrument of religiosity and belief in Macedonia will be discussed with particular reference to death and mourning rituals, and the everyday practice of purification and the avoidance of contamination of the body (and soul) and the malevolence of others (black magic).

Paper long abstract:

Macedonian religiosity and ritual practices encompass elements of a syncretism of various beliefs and ritual practices including (Slavic) Christian Orthodoxy, animism and 'magija' (black magic) and in the process readily encompass the new or emergent constructs of modernity, selfhood and individuality. The saliency of everyday ritual practices and the importance of religion and belief for individuals are manifest in various ways but are particularly prevalent in discourses of the body and the relationship between body and soul. This paper is concerned with exploring the ontology of the body and the continuum between body and soul, and, body and self in Macedonian cosmology, Orthodox belief and everyday practice. The focus on the body as both agent and instrument of religiosity and belief will be discussed with particular reference to death and mourning rituals, and the rituals associated with purification and the avoidance of contamination and the malevolence of others.

panel W064
Interpreting religious diversity: conversion, syncretism and religious practice