If the Mother of God Does Not Listen: Women’s Contested Agency and the Lived Meaning of the Orthodox Religion in North Karelia
Abstract

Finnish Orthodox women’s ambiguous situation of interfaith marriages in Lutheran, secular Finland is marked by a peculiar triple sense of otherness, causing elements of deep crisis among many. Employing Ernesto de Martino’s concept of “dehistoricizing,” the author claims that domestic religious rituals restore women’s agency and give them metahistorical solace. The ritual presence of the Mother of God binds together separate elements of domestic life and a mythical common past that creates and recreates mothers’ agency within the interfaith dilemma.


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