Gender and Religiosity among the Orthodox Christians in Romania: Continuity and Change, 1945-1989

Bucur, Maria
May 2011
Aspasia;2011, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p28
Academic Journal
This article questions the claim that in Romania, the post-1990 period was one of radically greater freedom in religious matters, as well as greater religiosity on the part of the population. Instead, it suggests that continuity better encapsulates the development of religiosity-religious beliefs and their embodiment in specific practices-among Orthodox Christians in Romania in the twentieth century. It also makes visible important imbalances, gaps, and faulty assumptions about the importance of institutions in the daily religious practices and beliefs of most Orthodox populations in the historiography on Orthodoxy in Romania. Scholars have failed to see continuities and have embraced analytical frameworks that stress change, especially around the communist takeover period (1945-1949) and the fall of communism (1989-1990). Central to re-evaluating this trajectory are two aspects of Orthodoxy in Romania: (1) most believers live in the countryside; and (2) women have remained central to the development and maintenance of religious practices in ways that cannot be accounted for through any institutional analysis of the Orthodox Church, because of its both implicit and explicit misogyny.


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