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Singing the Right WayOrthodox Christians and Secular Enchantment in Estonia$
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Jeffers Engelhardt

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199332120

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199332120.001.0001

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“Today Is an Important Day Here, the Birthday of Our Own Religion”

“Today Is an Important Day Here, the Birthday of Our Own Religion”

Festivity and the Secular Enchantments of Right Singing

(p.55) Chapter 3 “Today Is an Important Day Here, the Birthday of Our Own Religion”
Singing the Right Way

Jeffers Engelhardt

Oxford University Press

This chapter connects the style and work of right singing to the ways Estonians inhabited and related to their kirik—the Orthodox Church of Estonia. Focusing on a song festival celebrating the eightieth anniversary of the church’s autonomy, the chapter shows how secular enchantment was not only about how the faithful lived in the world, but also how they lived with one another in the church. On the festival stage, singing style had a complex relationship to religious and state power and was how ideas about historical justice and citizenship were put into ethical action as part of post-Soviet transition. The author develops a theory of festivity in this chapter to account for how different styles of singing nurtured in local parishes were rescaled as representations of the church’s institutional integrity and vitality, thereby involving individuals in the complex discourses of Estonian Orthodoxy.

Keywords:   festivity, Orthodox Christianity, Estonia, post-Soviet, enchantment, secular, church, singing, style, citizenship

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