Одиссей : человек в истории, 2013 : Женщина в религиозной общине : Запад / Восток
Elena Smilyanskaya. Women’s spiritual leadership in an Old Believer Community at the end of the twentieth century—notes from field observations
Based on extensive field work, this article explores the profound changes wrought by the feminization of priestless Old Believer communities. While literate men were traditionally in charge of religious education, their growing absence in Old Believer communities gave rise to “spiritual mothers” who embraced new interpretations of texts and theological values including the justification of the faith, intercession of saints, and the symbolism of sacred spaces. Spiritual mothers’ interpretation of biblical and hagiographical texts grew increasingly divorced from written texts and Old Believer tradition, offering new interpretations of long-held liturgical and doctrinal norms. This decline of book-centered religiosity among some priestless Old Believers thus resulted in a fusing of ancient and novel interpretations that spiritual mothers used to guide their communities.