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The authors—recognized historians, ethnologists, folklorists coming from four continents—present the latest research findings on the relationship, coexistence and conflicts of popular belief systems, Judeo-Christian mythology and demonology in medieval and modern Europe. The present volume focuses on the divergence between Western and Eastern evolution, on the different relationship of learned demonology to popular belief systems in the two parts of Europe. It discusses the conflict of saints, healers, seers, shamans with the representatives of evil; the special function of escorting, protecting, possessing, harming and healing spirits; the role of the dead, the ghosts, of pre-Christian, Jewish and Christian spirit-world, the antagonism of the devil and the saint.
Religious history more generally has experienced an exciting revival over the past few years, with new methodological and theoretical approaches invigorating the field. The time has definitely come for this “new religious history” to arrive in Eastern Europe. This book explores the influence of the Christian churches in Eastern Europe's social, cultural, and political history. Drawing upon archival sources, the work fills a vacuum as few scholars have systematically explored the history of Christianity in the region. The result of a three-year project, this collective work challenges readers with questions like: Is secularization a useful concept in understanding the long-term dynamics of religiosity in Eastern Europe? Is the picture of oppression and resistance an accurate way to characterize religious life under communism, or did Christians and communists find ways to co-exist on the local level prior to 1989? And what role did Christians actually play in dissident movements under communism? Perhaps most important is the question: what does the study of Eastern Europe contribute to the broader study of modern Christian history, and what can we learn from the interpretative problems that arise, uniquely, from this region?
Serbia in the Post-Milošević Era
Discusses Serbia’s struggle for democratic values after the fall of the Milosevic regime provoked by the NATO war, and after the trauma caused by the secession of Kosovo. Are the value systems of the post-Milosevic era true stumbling blocks of a delayed transition of this country? Seventeen contributors from Norway, Serbia, Italy, Germany, Poland and some other European countries covered a broad range of topics in order to provide answers to this question. The subjects of their investigations were national myths and symbols, history textbooks, media, film, religion, inter-ethnic dialogue, transitional justice, political party agendas and other related themes.
History, politics, and value transformation
This volume is driven by the conviction that the key to the establishment of stable liberal democracy anywhere in the world and, in this case, in Kosovo lies in the completion of three interrelated tasks: first, the creation of effective political institutions, based on the principle of the separation of powers (including the independence of the judiciary); second, the promotion of the rule of law; and, third, the promotion of civic values, including tolerance or ethnic/religious/sexual minorities, trust, and respect for the harm principle. In fact, there are problems across all three measures, including with judicial independence, with the rule of law, and with civic values. On the last of these, research findings show that the citizens of Kosovo rank extremely low on trust of other citizens, low on engagement in social organizations, and tolerance of gays, lesbians, and atheists, but high on trust in the political institutions of their country and in pride of their newly independent state.
The Interaction of Climate and Agricultural Policy and Their Effect on Food Problems
Between 1900 and 1990 there were several periods of grain and other food shortages in Russia and the former Soviet Union, some of which reached disaster proportions resulting in mass famine and death on an unprecedented scale. New stocks of information not previously accessible as well as traditional official and other sources have been used to explore the extent to which policy and vagaries in climate conspired to affect agricultural yields. Were the leaders' (Stalin, Krushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev) policies sound in theory but failed in practice because of unpredictable weather? How did the Soviet peasants react to these changes? What impact did Soviet agriculture have on the overall economy of the country? These are all questions that are taken into account. The book is arranged in chapters representing different time periods. In each the policy of the central government is discussed followed by the climate vagaries during that period. Crop yields are then analyzed in the light of policy and climate.
Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
The book examines the role of Western broadcasting to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe during the Cold War, with a focus on Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. It includes chapters by radio veterans and by scholars who have conducted research on the subject in once-secret Soviet bloc archives and in Western records. It also contains a selection of translated documents from formerly secret Soviet and East European archives, most of them published here for the first time.
Comparison and Entanglements
This book explores the interrelated campaigns of agricultural collectivization in the USSR and in the communist dictatorships established in Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. Despite the profound, long-term societal impact of collectivization, the subject has remained relatively underresearched. The volume combines detailed studies of collectivization in individual Eastern European states with issueoriented comparative perspectives at regional level. Based on novel primary sources, it proposes a reappraisal of the theoretical underpinnings and research agenda of studies on collectivization in Eastern Europe.The contributions provide up-to-date overviews of recent research in the field and promote new approaches to the topic, combining historical comparisons with studies of transnational transfers and entanglements.
The Coming Spring (Przedwiosnie), Zeromski's last novel, tells the story of Cezary Baryka, a young Pole who finds himself in Baku, Azerbaijan, then a predominantly Armenian city, as the Russian Revolution breaks out. He becomes embroiled in the chaos caused by the revolution, and barely escapes with his life. Then, he and his father set off on a horrendous journey west to reach Poland. His father dies en route, but Cezary makes it to the newly independent Poland. Cezary sees the suffering of the poor, yet his experiences in the newly formed Soviet Union make him suspicious of socialist and communist solutions. He is an outsider among both the gentry and the working classes, and he cannot find where he belongs. Furthermore, he has unsuccessful and tragic love relations. The novel ends when, despite his profound misgivings, he takes up political action on behalf of the poor.
An essential guide for lawmakers, scholars, and students of law, this work takes on the formidable task of providing a detailed overview of the harmonization of law in the European Union. Skillfully researched, the authors seek to approach this topic with an eye to the recent enlargement process. In highlighting the most recent actions of the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance, the book seeks to analyze the future strengths and pitfalls of EU Common Law. Court rulings are quoted at length, and work in conjunction with text inserts in providing a format that breaks down complex information. This open style of the book gives researchers the ability to quickly locate useful information and cite statements from EU institutions. In outlining the sources and institutions of Community Law, and the challenges in harmonizing national and supra-national law-books, A Common Law for Europe has done a tremendous service for academics and future leaders of the European Union.
Focuses on the problem of communication with the other world: the phenomenon of spirit possession and its changing historical interpretations, the imaginary schemes elaborated for giving accounts of the journeys to the other world, for communicating with the dead, and finally the historical archetypes of this kind of religious manifestation—trance prophecy, divination, and shamanism. Recognized historians and ethnologists analyze the relationship, coexistence and conflicts of popular belief systems, Judeo-Christian mythology and demonology in medieval and modern Europe. The essays address links between rites and beliefs, folklore and literature; the legacy of various pre-Christian mythologies; the syncretic forms of ancient, medieval and modern belief- and rite-systems; "pure" examples from religious-ethnological research outside Europe to elucidate European problems.