АНТРОПОЛОГИЧЕСКИЙ ФОРУМFORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE
RUS | ENG
Forum for Anthropology and Culture, 2020, no. 16
SACRALITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE CAUCASUS: A Review of TSYPYLMA DARIEVA, FLORIAN MÜHLFRIED, KEVIN TUITE (EDS.), SACRED PLACES, EMERGING SPACES: RELIGIOUS PLURALISM IN THE POST-SOVIET CAUCASUS. New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2018, X+235 pp. (Space and Place, 17)
Abstract: This is a review of а volume on the anthropology of sacred places in the Caucasus. The chapters written by leading authors in the field provide an analysis of rural and urban sacred places, their evolution, redefinition and reinvention within the dynamic sociopolitical context of the post-Soviet Caucasus. All chapters draw upon abundant first-hand material from authors’ fieldwork and sound qualitative methodology. Theoretical coordinates of the volume include the concept of ‘great’ and ‘little’ traditions, the so-called ‘sharing the sacred’ by groups of different religions, the mechanism of appropriation of the sacred in ethnic and national imagination, and the instrumentalisation of the sacred in political practices. The opposition of ‘great’ and ‘little’ traditions — or official religious institutions and vernacular practices — seems somewhat simplistic as the authors tend to profile only hegemonic pressure (from the institutions) and the resistance of the local agents, while in fact a more complex negotiation between the two levels might be acknowledged. Nevertheless, according to the reviewer, overall, the volume provides high quality scholarship both in terms of fresh empirical data and conceptual engagement.
Keywords: sacred places, Caucasus, ‘great’ and ‘little’ traditions, lived religion.
To cite: Agadjanian A., ‘Sacrality and Diversity in the Caucasus: A Review of Tsypylma Darieva, Florian Mühlfried, Kevin Tuite (eds.), Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces: Religious Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Caucasus. New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2018, X+235 pp. (Space and Place, 17)’, Forum for Anthropology and Culture, 2020, no. 16, pp. 248–254.
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