Cover

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Half Title, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotation

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

I would like to thank here the many people who have contributed so much to this study. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-9

In the postmodern world of the late twentieth century it has become increasingly difficult to sustain the notion that even the most "exotic" people anthropologists write about-from the Trobriand Islanders to the Yanomamo--live in totally alien, isolated, and self-contained cultures. ...

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I. The Festival of Saints Constantine and Helen

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pp. 10-49

Old Yorgakis Yavasis stood in front of the icons of Saints Constantine and Helen and crossed himself three times. He lit a small incense burner, made the sign of the cross with it in front of the icons, and placed it on a large trunk underneath the icon shelf. As the thick, sweet-smelling smoke clouded up around him, ...

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II. The Interpretation of Religious Healing

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pp. 50-63

The Anastenaria is concerned with healing in the broadest sense. It is both a religious ritual and a form of psychotherapy. Any attempt to understand the Anastenaria as a system of religious healing must therefore integrate approaches from medical anthropology with those from the anthropological study of religion. ...

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III. The Anastenaria

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pp. 64-83

The village of Ayia Eleni is located fifteen kilometers south of Serres, an important commercial center in the eastern part of Greek Macedonia with approximately forty thousand inhabitants. The Strymonas River flows nearby on its eighty-kilometer journey from the Bulgarian border to the Aegean Sea. ...

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IV. From Illness and Suffering to Health and Joy

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pp. 84-131

In the Anastenaria religious healing is brought about by the transformation of a person's relationship with Saint Constantine from a negative one involving illness and suffering to a positive one involving health and joy, a transformation that takes place when a person becomes an Anastenaris and acquires the supernatural power of the Saint. ...

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V. History, Folklore, Politics, and Science

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pp. 132-167

Before the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913 the Anastenaria was performed in the northeastern part of what was then Turkish Thrace. Within this area, which is now split by the border between Bulgaria and Turkey, the Anastenaria was celebrated in about twenty villages inhabited by both Greeks and Bulgarians. ...

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VI. The Celebration of Community in a Changing World

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pp. 168-213

The Anastenaria not only plays an important part in the personal lives of individual Anastenarides, it also plays a central role in the collective life of the village of Ayia Eleni and the community of Kostilides as a whole. The Anastenaria has been a powerful symbol for the shared identity of the Kostilides ever since their arrival as refugees in Greek Macedonia. ...

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VII. A Full Moon Firedance in Maine

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pp. 214-252

On a warm June evening in the summer of 1985 Ken Cadigan visited me at my home in Lewiston, Maine. Ken was a tall, handsome man with a dark beard and a warm smile. I had invited him for dinner, but he was fasting now that he had returned to Portland from Europe where he'd led firewalking workshops in Germany and danced with the Anastenarides in Langadas. ...

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VIII. The American Firewalking Movement

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pp. 253-288

Firewalking is certainly one of the most dramatic activities that take place at the many classes, seminars, and workshops attended by the increasing number of Americans who hope to bring about a "New Age" of peace, unity, and higher consciousness through personal growth and spiritual transformation. ...

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IX. Contemporary Anthropology in a Postmodern World

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pp. 289-306

When I left The United States for Greece in August 1974 to begin my research on the Anastenaria, I had a fairly traditional idea of what ethnographic fieldwork would be like. I was an American, a graduate student in anthropology, and I had been brought up as a member of a liberal Protestant church in a white, upper-middle-class suburb of Boston. ...

Bibliography

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pp. 307-326

Index

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pp. 327-334