Societas Classica
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

From The Cult of The Pagan Heroes To The Cult of The Christian Saints in The Balkan Lands Problems of Historiography


Authors:
Milen Ivanov

Pages: -

Abstract:

The present paper deals with the current state of scientific research concerning the religious transformation from the cult of the pagan heroes to the cult of the Christian saints in the Balkan lands south of the Danube. The geographic frame of this study covers the area, which was inhabited in the age of Antiquity by the Thracians. A comparative review has been made of the research works of some western authors like P. Saintyves, H. Delehaye, P. Brown, J. Fredouille and others, who represent various research trends and paradigms. It seems that the more Christian viewpoint the author shares, the more is he inclined to reject the idea of dependency between the cult of the saints and the cult of the heroes; and vice versa – the more emancipated is he from the authority of the church, the more tending is he to affirm the idea of religious continuity. At this background, there is a number of major Bulgarian researchers, as well as foreign researchers, dealing with the Balkan lands, who have been presented in the paper – like I. Gueorguieva, G. Kazarow, Chr. Walter, E. Theodorov, I. Dujčev and some other. They have treated certain aspects of the transition. The study of the traditional popular culture, containing ancient pagan vestiges, is of primary importance in analyzing the subject matter. There are many other authors, who have treated the religious transition, but, in genera, the researchers, presented in this study, seem to form the overall notion concerning the scientific discourse on the problem. Of course, there remain numerous issues, which may be subject of further fruitful research.

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