The paper is written within a collective planned subject “Folklore Traditions and Hand-Written Booklore of the European North: Source Study, Textual Criticism, Poetics, and Ethnographic Context”, no. AAAA-A18-118020800204-0

In modern studies of religion, the category of time of the confessional text is usually described with the help of the opposition profane-sacred. Orthodox text is not an exception. However, there are certain types of texts for which the framework of this opposition is tight. It concerns the texts of folk Orthodoxy – more precisely, Russian folklore spiritual verses. The works of this genre inherit the notion of profane and sacred time from Christianity, but they transform it in their own way. The Orthodox tradition within folklore is interpreted mainly in terms of folk culture: the importance of the folk idea of triplicity increases; the concept of the mythological ideal origin of the world is actualized; the semiotic space of the Orthodox tradition is enriched with folkloric ideas about the border-time (midnight, 12 o’clock, etc.); Friday as the day of the Crucifixion of Christ is exposed to additional sacralization (according to some spiritual verses, it is on Friday that the Ascension of Christ takes place, in substantial contradiction with the canonical tradition); events that generally did not receive the corresponding ethical evaluation in the canonical texts are endowed with an additional sacred meaning (for example, the age of the beginning of teaching the holy child). The binary opposition of the profane-sacred is transformed into a kind of triad, where the third element are the events taking place in the stream of profane time, but endowed by folkloric consciousness with additional sacral, symbolic connotations that go back to the folk culture. This allows us to talk about expanding of the boundaries of sacred time in the folk Orthodoxy. Essential role in the organization of the temporal structure of spiritual verses is played by eschatological experiences. Sacralization concerns not only those events that occurred in the past, but also the events of the prospective future (the end of the world and the cessation of the passage of time).

Keywords: spiritual verses, folklore, folk Orthodoxy, secular, sacred, category of time, religious consciousness

DOI: 10.22250/2072-8662.2018.1.58-70

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About the author

Alexander M. Petrov – PhD (Philology), Senior Researcher at the Institute of Linguistics, History and Literature

of the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

11 Pushkinskaya str., Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, Russia; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.