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Religion and Society in RussiaThe Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries$
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Paul Bushkovitch

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195069464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195069464.001.0001

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The Era of Miracles

The Era of Miracles

Chapter:
(p.100) 5 The Era of Miracles
Source:
Religion and Society in Russia
Author(s):

Paul Bushkovitch

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195069464.003.0006

The most visible example of change in the character of religious experience in the wake of the decline of monastic authority was the swift and tremendous increase in the popularity of miracles in the sixteenth century. These miracles were of two types: the more public miracles that involved the whole community; and miracle cults, both of the relics of saints and of miracle-working icons. The miracle cults were an expression of local and largely popular religious experience, but they were not hermetically sealed off from the landholding class. The descriptions of the cults were written down by monks from that class for literate audiences, and demonstrated to the rulers of Russia the unity of the people and the upper classes around the shrine of the miracle-working holy man. Besides manifesting the power of God in the lives of humble individuals, they provided a myth of social integration.

Keywords:   miracle cults, miracles, public miracles, holy man, social integration

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