Presentations - Supplement

MYŚL POSTSEKULARNA A LITERATUROZNAWSTWO. NOWE PERSPEKTYWY

Ewelina Drzewiecka

 
Postsekularne odsłony

 
1. Tematyzująca – skupienie na przejawach religii w nowoczesności, traktowanych zazwyczaj w kategorii „powrotu”; szczególne zainteresowanie dla religijności alternatywnej i współczesnych fundamentalizmów; w badaniach nad literaturą: badanie współczesnej prozy rozwijającej wątki duchowych poszukiwań jednostek egzystujących w warunkach zachodniej świeckości (np. McClure 2007, Hungerford 2010).

2. Dekonstrukcyjna – odesłanie do założenia, że to, co religijne/to, co teologiczne leży u podstaw każdej myśli świeckiej; tropienie ukrytych „religijnych” paradygmatów, „kryptoteologii” (por. Bielik-Robson 2008, 2014); w badaniach nad literaturą: badania nad tłem światopoglądowym nie tylko pisarzy oraz krytyków literackich, ale i samych literaturoznawców – postulat self-interrogation (Conviello i Hickman 2014).

3. Projekcyjna – zastosowanie języka religijnego do świeckiego dyskursu (i odwrotnie); odesłanie do Heglowskiej idei „zniesienia religii w filozofii”; w badaniach nad literaturą: pojęcia religijne w warstwie językowej nie tylko przedmiotem uwagi, ale i samym narzędziem opisu (np. McClure 2007, Ludwig 2009, Ratti 2012).

Więcej zob. Drzewiecka 2014.

 

Postsekularne nowoczesności

 
• Postulat self-interrogation w odniesieniu do ustaleń wewnątrz-modelowych kultury zachodniej.

• Postulat reorganizacji i rewaloryzacji badań nad kulturami tzw. Europy Wschodniej.

• Jeśli nowoczesność zdefiniować szeroko, uniwersalistycznie, to w badaniach nad „małymi kulturami” można wyjść poza model „wzór – kopia (nieudana)” czy „centrum – peryferie (zacofane)”; możliwe jest także ustanowienie niespójności, sztuczności samej narracji westernizacyjnej w odniesieniu do własnego „innego”.

 
1. Analiza i interpretacja obecności alternatywnych form religijnych,

2. Deszyfracja kryptoteologicznych uwikłań użytkowników kultur oraz (ich) projektów ideologicznych,

3. Wprowadzenie tradycji pojęciowej prawosławia/islamu do okcydentalistycznie zorientowanej antropologii,

4. Badanie religii i jej roli przy adaptacji w procesie przekładu kulturowego.

 


Postsekularne literaturoznawstwa

 
• Zainteresowanie większości badaczy skupia się na tekstach literackich, które ilustrują ponowoczesne zjawisko tzw. nowej duchowości lub też w tym kluczu wzywają do rewizji lub rehabilitacji marginalizowanych lub błędnie odczytywanych dotąd utworów z wcześniejszych okresów. Bardziej produktywne wydaje się podjęcie problemu nie tematyzacji, a kryptoteologii.

• Zarówno literatura, jak i dyskurs o niej, relację „religijne – świeckie” dokumentuje nie tylko poprzez swój „stosunek do religii”, ale też na drodze kreowania nowych dystynkcji i sensów. Terminy „religijny” i „świecki” są używane w celu ustanowienia granic różnych kontekstów dyskursywnych, jak również tożsamości tych, którzy mówią w ich ramach (Kauffmann 2007). W tym kontekście ujawnia się znaczenie literaturoznawstwa, które uformowane poprzez narrację o sekularyzacji, samo gra ważną rolę w rozwijaniu tej narracji (Pecora 2006).

 
1. Rewaloryzacja stereotypów na temat literatur (i kultur) narodowych (np. co do obecności i znaczenia wątków religijnych; użycia kodu religijnego),

2. Reinterpretacja spuścizny twórców dotąd marginalizowanych lub jakoby bezspornie już zaklasyfikowanych,

3. Zwrócenie uwagi na uwikłania kryptoteologiczne zarówno autorów (pisarzy, krytyków), jak i badaczy, a w konsekwencji na lokalne doświadczenie czy wytwarzanie nowoczesności.

• Badanie światopoglądów okazuje się niezwykle owocne, chociaż nie chodzi tu o świadomie przyjęty i wyznawany zespół przekonań, jakiś system ideologiczny, a o kryjące się za nimi „teologiczne” podstawy.


• Myśl postsekularna nie tylko pozwala śledzić kryptoteologiczne uwikłania, ale też pokazuje drogę do wyrwania się z Wielkiej Narracji sekularyzmu, bo pyta dlaczego, tj. w wyniku jakich mechanizmów określone wyobrażenia i praktyki są klasyfikowane jako świeckie lub religijne (Kauffmann 2009).


• Badania nad literaturą mogą w szczególny sposób odsłonić prowizoryczność Wielkiej Narracji sekularyzmu. Szczególnie wrażliwe na „prowizoryczność” zjawisk, mogą one odsłonić „nierówności” i „niekonsekwencje” dyskursu świeckiego, tj. mogą niejako zaburzyć jego wizję linearną i spójną, opartą na prostej relacji przyczynowo-skutkowej (Stein 2014).

•Podejście literaturoznawcze przynosi ważną wrażliwość epistemiczną.

 
1. Zaangażowanie postsekularnego doświadczenia i uznanie, że „to, co religijne czy (krypto)teologiczne” wzywa na nowo do refleksji nad nowoczesnością.

• Postulat denaturalizacji schematu „dobra religia – zła religia”, jaki istnieje w myśleniu w kontekście nowoczesnej opozycji „religijne – świeckie” (Fessenden 2006).

 
2. Rewizja własnej narracji (o) nowoczesności.

• Postulat badania literatur i literaturoznawstw „wschodnioeuropejskich”, gdyż to tu:

- krzyżują się kategorie związane z kontekstem pierwotnym z importowanym ujęciem,

- krzyżują się różne konteksty dyskursywne, utwierdzają się nowe/stare sensy i opozycje, pokazując ich „sztuczność”,

- dochodzi do ujawnienia dyskursywności czy kreacyjności siebie.

 
3. Dyskurs literacki i literaturoznawczy wyrastający na gruncie kultur „wschodnioeuropejskich” jako szczególne źródło dla badań nad relacją „religijne – świeckie”, a tak – nad doświadczeniem Wielkiej Narracji nowoczesności.

 
• Postulat połączenia wrażliwości kryptoteologicznej i literaturoznawczej.

 
Wybrana literatura przedmiotu

 

 
•Benjamin, W., Über den Begriff der Geschichte. In: Walter Benjamin zum Gedächtnis. Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, M. Horkheimer, T. Wiesengrund-Adorno (Hrsg.). Los Angeles: Institut für Sozialforschung, 1942, 1-16.

•Bielik-Robson, A., „Na pustyni”. Kryptoteologie późnej nowoczesności, Kraków: Universitas, 2008.

•Bielik-Robson, A., Przedmowa. In: Deus otiosus. Nowoczesność w perspektywie postsekularnej, red. A. Bielik-Robson, M. A. Sosnowski, Warszawa: Krytyka polityczna, 2013, 5-37.

•Conviello, P., Hickman, J., Introduction: After the Postsecular. – American Literature, 86, 4, 2014, 645-654.

•Drzewiecka, E. Myśl postsekularna w badaniach slawistycznych. Próba spojrzenia. –Studia Litteraria Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis, 2014, 9, 1, 29-44.

•Fessenden, T., Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

•Fessenden, T., The Problem of the Postsecular. – American Literary History, 26, № 1, 2014, 154-167.

•Hungerford, A., Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion Since1960. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.

•Kauffmann, M. W. Locating the Postsecular. – Religion & Literature, 41, № 3, 2009, 68-73.

•Kauffmann, M. W., The Religious, the Secular, and Literary Studies: Rethinking the Secularization Narrative in Histories of the Profession. – New Literary History, 38, № 4, 2007, 607-627.

•Ludwig, K., Don Delillo’s Underworld and the Postsecular in Contemporary Fiction. –Religion & Literature,41.3, 2009, 82-91.

•McClure, J. A., Partial Faiths: Postsecular Fiction in the Age of Pynchon and Morrison. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007.

•Orsi, R. A., Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them. Princeton, N.J.; Woodstock: Princeton University Press, 2005.

•Pecora, V. P., Secularization and Cultural Criticism: Religion, Nation, and Modernity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

•Ratti, M., The Postsecular Imagination: Postcolonialism, Religion, and Literature. New York: Routledge, 2012.

•Stein, J. A., Angels in (Mexican) America. – American Literature, 86, № 4, 2014, 683-711.


 

 

POSTSECULAR THOUGHT AND LITERATURE STUDIES: NEW PERSPECTIVES

Ewelina Drzewiecka

 


Postsecular approaches

 
1. Тhematization – focuses on manifestations of religion in (post)modernity, which are usually analysed in terms of “return to religion”; primarily interested in alternative religiosity and modern fundamentalisms; in literary studies: analyses mostly contemporary fiction, where researchers can analyse the theme of search for religious meaning in a modern, secularized Western world (e.g. McClure 2007, Hungerford 2010).

2. Deconstruction – argues that the religious/the theological lies at the foundations of every secular thought (cf. Benjamin 1942), “cryptotheology” (cf. Bielik-Robson 2008, 2014); in literary studies: studies not only the spiritual beliefs of writers as a context for their work, but also those of the literary critics and scholars themselves–a postulation of self-interrogation (Conviello and Hickman 2014).

3. Projection – uses religious language in secular discourse (and vice versa), which harks back to Hegel’s “sublation of religion in philosophy”; in literary studies: the presence of religious concepts in the language becomes not only a subject of scrutiny, but also the very mode of description (e.g. McClure 2007, Ludwig 2009, Ratti 2012).


For more, see Drzewiecka 2014.

 
Postsecular modernities

 
• A postulate of self-interrogation in relation to the Western model.

• A postulate of re-organization and re-evaluation of the study of cultures of “Eastern Europe.”

• It is possible to analyse the discontinuities and lacunae in the cultural model and thus analyse the inherent artificiality of the Westernizing narrative in relation to the internal “Other.”

 


1. Analysis and interpretation of the presence of alternative forms of religion,

2. Deciphering the crypto-theological entanglements of culture users and (their) ideological projects,

3. Introducing concepts current in Orthodoxy/Islam into the Western-centric anthropology,

4. The study of religion and its role in the processes of adaptation and cultural translation.

 


Postsecular literary studies

 


• It seems more productive however to see these texts as material for studying the connections between religion and modernity, i.e. by engaging not in thematization, but in crypto-theology.

• Both literature and the discourse of literary studies reference the relationship between the religious and the secular not only though their “attitude to religion” but also through creating new distinctions and meanings (cf. Kauffmann 2007). Formed by the narrative of secularization, the literary studies play an important role in further developing that narrative (Pecora 2006).

 


1. Re-examination of stereotypes regarding national literatures (and cultures), e.g. regarding the presence and significance of religious themes and the use of religious codes),

2. Reinterpretation of the work of artists who had been hitherto marginalized, or whose work was deemed to be irrevocably classified,

3. Drawing attention to the existence of crypto-theological entanglements of both the authors (writers, critics etc.) and the scholars (i.e. their implicit “theological” foundations), and as a consequence, to the local experience (or even creation) of modernity.

 


• The postsecular thought allows one not only to track the entanglements, but also promises breaking free from the grand narrative of secularism, because it asks why, and for what reason are certain beliefs and practices classed as secular or religious (Kauffmann 2009).

 


• Particularly sensitive to the provisionality of studied objects, literary studies can unearth “inequalities” and “inconsequences” of the secular discourse, i.e. they can disturb the coherent and linear vision, based on a simple cause-and-effect chain (Stein 2014).

• Literary studies turn out to offer a certain form of epistemological sensitivity.

 


1. Postsecular literary studies engage with the postsecular experience and claim “the religious/the crypto-theological” calls for new reflection on modernity, for revision of one’s own narrative of modernity.

• A postulate of denaturalization of the stereotypical juxtaposition of “good religion vs. bad religion” (Fessenden 2006).

 


2. The literary discourse, and especially the discourse of literary studies stemming from the “Eastern European” cultures, becomes a valuable field for researching the relationship between the religious and the secular, and for experiencing the grand narrative of modernity.

• A postulate to mix the crypto-theological sensitivity and a literary studies approach.

 


•Benjamin, W., Über den Begriff der Geschichte. In: Walter Benjamin zum Gedächtnis. Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung, M. Horkheimer, T. Wiesengrund-Adorno (Hrsg.). Los Angeles: Institut für Sozialforschung, 1942, 1-16.

•Bielik-Robson, A., „Na pustyni”. Kryptoteologie późnej nowoczesności, Kraków: Universitas, 2008.

•Bielik-Robson, A., Przedmowa. In: Deus otiosus. Nowoczesność w perspektywie postsekularnej, red. A. Bielik-Robson, M. A. Sosnowski, Warszawa: Krytyka polityczna, 2013, 5-37.

•Conviello, P., Hickman, J., Introduction: After the Postsecular. –American Literature, 86, 4, 2014, 645-654.

•Drzewiecka, E. Myśl postsekularna w badaniach slawistycznych. Próba spojrzenia. – Studia Litteraria Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis, 2014, 9, 1, 29-44.

•Fessenden, T., Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006.

•Fessenden, T., The Problem of the Postsecular. – American Literary History, 26, № 1, 2014, 154-167.

•Hungerford, A., Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion Since 1960. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.

•Kauffmann, M. W. Locating the Postsecular. – Religion & Literature, 41, № 3, 2009, 68-73.

•Kauffmann, M. W., The Religious, the Secular, and Literary Studies: Rethinking the Secularization Narrative in Histories of the Profession. – New Literary History, 38, № 4, 2007, 607-627.

•Ludwig, K., Don Delillo’s Underworld and the Postsecular in Contemporary Fiction. – Religion & Literature, 41.3, 2009, 82-91.

•McClure, J. A., Partial Faiths: Postsecular Fiction in the Age of Pynchon and Morrison. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007.

•Orsi, R. A., Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them. Princeton, N.J.; Woodstock: Princeton University Press, 2005.

•Pecora, V. P., Secularization and Cultural Criticism: Religion, Nation, and Modernity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

•Ratti, M., The Postsecular Imagination: Postcolonialism, Religion, and Literature. New York: Routledge, 2012.

•Stein, J. A., Angels in (Mexican) America. – American Literature, 86, № 4, 2014, 683-711.

 


 

SACRED PLACE AND NATIONAL IDENTITY (FOLLOWING THE PRACTICE OF CHEPINO NEIGHBOURHOOD [1], THE TOWN OF VELINGRAD [2], SOUTHWEST BULGARIA)

Tsvetelina Dimitrova

 

The text aims at presenting an emblematic case from the village of Chepino, currently a residential estate-neighbourhood within the town of Velingrad, with a view to the contemporary processes of ‘comeback to the religious’ and their close relationship to the trend of re-establishment of national and local identities. In this particular case, the core event was the construction of a chapel (2002), dedicated to St. Prophet Ilia, on the plot of a former consecrated ground, which in turn had been built anew in the 1920s-1930s: both events took place after a prophetic dream as a basic narrative topos featuring the tales of wonder-working icons and relics. The respective location, the neighbourhood of Chepino in the town of Velingrad, is in turn rationalized as their axiological centre, providing symbolic capital through both Christian and Bulgarian historical ‘pantheon’. The newly uncovered Thracian sanctuary in its immediate proximity, which dates back to the 1 c. AD and is related to the Bessi tribe and their Orphic religious doctrine, shapes up the sacred status of the whole place as a peculiar ‘hierotopy’. The observations are based on the field expeditions carried out in July 2016 under the BAS project ‘The Thracians – genesis and ethnic development, cultural identities, civilizational interactions and heritage of Antiquity’ [3].

The preliminary research of the place ‘St Ilia’ (Chepino neighbourhood) shows an emblematic case of the specifics in which the collective memory functions, as it insists on continuity and affectivity of memory. There is every evidence that the past is interpreted in the well-known folklore patterns, as well as of attempts it to be placed on a higher, sacred level, establishing simultaneously the local and national identities as ancient and God-inspired . The simultaneous presence of a Thracian sanctuary, whose excavation works are under prof. Diana Gergova, on the one hand, and the recently built chapel ‘St. Ilia’ on the plot of a former consecrated ground, indicates attempts of construction and rationalization of the place as ‘hierotopy’ (after Alexey Lidov’s concept – „the creation of sacred places regarded as a special form of creativity, and a field in historical research which reveals and analyses the particular examples of that creativity” (Lidov 2009, 11). It chronologically unites 1. Antiquity (with the archaeological excavation works); 2. The Middle Ages/ ‘Ottoman rule’ – through the legend about the destruction of churches in the region during the Ottoman invasion, including the chapel/monastery ‘St. Ilia’; 3. Modern times – the recently rebuilt chapel of the same saint near the altar of the former consecrated ground. In this way the Thracian and medieval heritage renders symbolic capital, providing historical continuity and legitimizing the present, being its supporting point in view of identity – with unquestionable emphasis on Bulgarian and Christian, i.e. Bulgarian history rationalized on the level of the sacred.

Thracian sanctuary – The basic objects of research were the Thracian sanctuary (heroon) in the grounds of ‘Saint Ilia’, Chepino neighbourhood, and the chapel of the same name in the immediate proximity. The archaeological data indicate that this was a sanctuary related to the Orphic cults of the Bessi tribe. They are known as the priests of Dionysius, which makes it possible to use the Orphic doctrine as an interpretative key in the analysis. The idea of immortality, of simultaneously worshipping the chthonic (the earth) and the solar principle, as well as the image of the Thracian heros (horseman) directly corresponds with the characteristic features and functions of the Christian saints in folklore settings, to whom the chapel in question and its neighbouring worshipping places are dedicated, outlining the sacred geography of the region – ‘St. Georgi’ (‘Gergevana’), ‘Vaznesenie Gospodne’ [God’s Ascension] (‘St. Spas’) [St Saviour], ‘St Nedelya’, ‘St.Nickola’ (Leten), ‘Nikulitsa’ (Rakitovo), ‘El(e)in kladenets’ [Elein well].

According to the data obtained during excavation works in ‘St. Ilia’ ground, the archaeological site ‘provides so far unknown organizational layouts and structure of the sacred places of the Bessi, including the ritual practices held in them’ (Gergova 2016). Prof. Gergova concludes that the layout of the archaeological complex in ‘St Ilia’ ground and the pointed analogies relate to previously gathered information about the ancient heroons (sacrificial temples), especially to those connected with Orpheus’s death. According to her ‘it can be claimed quite confidently that the newly registered [archaeological] monuments in the region of Velingrad are namely heroons; they strongly highlight the cultural characteristics of Dionysius’s priests and are new, so far unknown, examples of their sacred architecture’ (Gergova 2016).

The Middle Ages/ ‘under Ottoman rule’ - According to tales/legends, undoubtedly influenced by academic hypotheses regarding ‘conversion to Islam’ in the region, the church in the place known by the name of ‘St Ilia’ was one of those 218 churches destroyed by the Ottomans in the 60s of the XVII c. In this particular case, the presence of ruins (uncovered in archaeological excavation works) finds its interpretation in the collective memory through the narrative toposes of a church/monastery/chapel buried/ruined because of or by the Ottomans, and respectively relates to the traumatic point of the fall under Ottoman rule, while for the region of Chepino it also refers back to ‘forceful conversion to Islam’ in 1666, according to a marginal note left by priest Metodi Draginov. This type of narratives are widespread in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia and refers to the plot of ‘hidden monastery’ (underground or under water), which will emerge once again to the surface on God’s command ‘when the time will come for the Ottomans to meet their destiny’. It has been established that in folklore the topos monastery/church functions as a semantema of kingdom, unquestionably denoting Bulgarian kingdom. In this way we can trace down the initial formation of legend, similarly the one about the chapel ‘St. Georgi’ in Kamenitsa, both of which and the likes might subsequently have found support and confirmation in academic historiography and their later versions might have conformed to academic hypotheses accordingly. In actual fact, it was Bulgarian Muslims (the so-called ‘Pomatsi’) who had kept the memory of cult places and ‘passed it on’ to immigrants (Christians) coming from the regions of Razlog and Nevrokop during the demographic changes, occurring along the Chepino River Bed at the end of the XIX c. and the beginning of the XX c. They were also the ones who showed K. Irechek the place of ‘St.Ilia’ and other churches, to which Hristo Popkonstantinov later added ‘Gergieva cherkva’ and ‘Malka cherkva’.

Modern times – Ever since the Liberation of Bulgaria, there has been a specific cyclic recurrence in the ‘life’ of sacred places and alteration of periods of enhanced attendance and renovation of temples alongside their ritual function, and periods of (political) suppression and decline. Georgi Kumanov, a major folklore researcher in the region, outlines four main periods: 1) the 80s-90s of the XIX c., 2) the 20s-30s of the XX c., 3) the 60s-70s of the XX c. and 4) the last decade of the XX c. The second and the last period are marked by trends of reestablishing the sacred places, renovating the buildings of worshipping and reinvigorating the festivity related to them. Not by coincidence, these are periods when it is necessary ‘to provide sacredness’ to the Bulgarian and Christian communal identity. While in the 1920s-1930s this relates to the change in demography of the region – emigration of Bulgarian Muslims and immigration of population coming from the region of Razlog and Nevrokop, since the end of the last century (the 1990s) to the present day the tendency has been to rehabilitate the sacred, following its suppression during the totalitarian communist regime. Such ‘comeback’ of religion, of respect to cult places is a result of reestablished communal tradition (village votive offerings), as well as of rationalization of Christianity as invariable aspect of Bulgarian national identity. Last but not least, of course, it is communication with God and the divine, which has its regulatory functions in the life of both the individual and the community. It is what restores and reestablishes individual, communal and natural order.

Admittedly, in the said periods, renovation of cult buildings happens after communication with the Beyond and/or miraculous appearance of a particular place or icons of saints in the dreams of certain people. This is a sustainable topos in folklore culture and the dream nearly always recurs three times in order to ‘expose’ any doubt that might occur in its truthfulness, simultaneously being a structural element of narratives of wonder-working relics. Their power, as well as that of wonder-working icons, relates to inviolability (resilience to severe weather conditions, time passing and fire), light emission (halo), staving off dangers (famine, epidemics, sieges) and before all healings – immediate or indirect, the latter particularly accomplished through water used to wash relics and saints’ images. The accidental discovery of a long gone (stolen or displaced) icon is among the most dramatic and effective events in the fundament of any legend. The discovery itself is usually preceded by a vision appearing to an extremely pious person and accompanied by manifestation of further miracles (Bakalova 2016, 95).

The present situation is very similar, as it seems that the start of archaeological excavation works triggered manifestation of the Divine, substantiated in the dream vision of Uncle Ilia, the initiator of building of the present-day chapel. According to his accounts of his own life, the reason to devote himself to God-inspired deeds – the building and maintenance of the chapel (“St Ilia”) – was a succession of family misfortunes: his brother died young, their mother shortly followed suit, the father turned into a drunkard – a tough childhood. Before his mother died, she had made him give a vow before the icons of Jesus Christ and St Nicholas that he would have four children. He himself had a dream of St George (in woolen clothes, like a soldier) and the holy man told him where the money was (of a buried treasure); in his dream he also saw some stairs and a door by the river. In the space of twenty-five years an old man with a white beard (St Ilia) kept coming into his dreams, telling him that a church should be built. According to Uncle Ilia’s words, the boon coming to the neighbourhood, the town of Velingrad and the whole country is to be entirely attributed to the newly-built chapel of St Ilia. And it was not by chance that Velingrad has become a prosperous resort centre.

Judging by chapel iconography observed in the frescoes and gonfalons, one might say that there is an unquestionable sign of equality between Bulgarian and Christian, Orthodox Christian at that. One can see the entire national historical ‘pantheon’, not only the Orthodox religious one: medieval, including the converters and establishers of Christianity as state religion in the period of the First Bulgarian Empire, as well as the defenders of Kingdom/Faith at the time of its fall under Ottoman rule, a traumatic topos in historical memory – St Tsar Boris the Converter [4], Tsar Simeon I the Great [5], St. Tsar Peter [6], Patriarch Evtimiy; enlighteners, including not only educationalists, but also revolutionaries from the National Revival period – Rev. Paisiy Hilendarski [7], ‘the Flying Detachment’ of Benkovsky [8], Vasil Levski [9]. This is an emblematic case of reconstruction and reestablishment of identity on all levels – personal (through the patron saint – St Ilia), communal (of neighbourhood and town) through the prism of national ‘pantheon’ and through the ultimate sanction of the sacred - God’s blessing. In this paradigm, the Thracian heritage – cultural and material (with its immediate proximity of excavation works) – is an invariable part of the ancient Bulgarian millennial history.

 

Footnotes:


[1] The name Chepino (Chepino River Gorge, respectively) dates back to 1666 when it appeared in Ottoman documents. The initial name of the gorge is Tsepina (Tsepino) [‘crack or crevice’], but as there was no sound ‘ts’ in the Turkish language, the name was rendered as Chepino. In this area Kleptuza lake is also to be found, as well as the fortress Tsepina. 18 km to the east of Velingrad, in the grounds of the village of Dorkovo, municipality Rakitovo, lies the ancient Bulgarian fortress Tsepina, the capital of the medieval administrative ruler, despot Slav. During the Middle Ages Tsepina was among the most famous fortresses in the Rhodopes. It became a part of the Bulgarian state in the mid-IX c. In the XI c it fell under Byzantine rule, but was reclaimed as Bulgarian during Tsar Kaloyan’s reign (1197 – 1207). When Kaloyan appointed his nephew, Alexiy Slav, the ruler of the Rhodopes, Tsepina became his headquarters. After the tsar’s assassination in 1207, despot Alexiy Slav proclaimed himself an independent ruler. In the period 1246 – 1254 Tsepina was under the Nicaean emperor John II Ducka Vatatzes, but Michail II Assen managed to recapture it. In 1373 the fortress was seized by the Ottoman invaders. The outer walls encompass 25 daa; a medieval castle was built on the area of 1.5 daa on its highest grounds. The castle walls have been preserved up to 2.5 m height. The outer fortress walls have been preserved up to 6 m height, their width being 3 m. Within the fortress three churches and four water reservoirs as deep as 10 m were found and examined.


[2] Velingrad is a town in South Bulgaria, in the district of Pzardjik and is second in size within the district after Pazardjik, with a population of 24 518 people according to their current address. (15.03.2016). The town is an administrative centre of Velingrad municipality. It was set up in 1948 by merging the villages Ludjane, Kamenitsa and Chepino. Chepino lies the furthest to the south from the three residential estates-neighbourhoods of Velingrad. Before entering the boundaries of today’s town, the neighbourhood was named Banja Chepinska [Bath of Chepina] which was renamed into the village of Chepino in 1934 (after the name of the Chepinska River gorge). The town population consists mainly of Orthodox Christians, while the neighbouring villages – of mainly Bulgarian Muslims. Islam has gradually spread out throughout Chepinska River gorge. Ислямът се е разпространявал бавно, но постепенно в Чепинската котловина. Examining the Ottoman registers, the following table can be compiled: Year/Muslim families: 1516 -10%; 1528 -12%;1570 - 26%; 1595 - 31%; 1640 - 50%; 1712 - 89% - Mehmed, Hyusein, The Pomatsi and the Torbeshi in Misia, Thracia and Macedonia, Sofia [2007], pp.27-31/Мехмед, Хюсеин. Помаците и торбешите в Мизия, Тракия и Македония. София, [2007]. с. 27 – 31.


[3] Theme of IEFSEM – „The Thracian Heritage – Ethnological and Folkloristic Interpretations’; the theme of the team of Prof. Dr. A. Georgieva, Ass. Prof. V. Ganeva-Raycheva and Assist. Prof. Tsv. Dimitrova: ‘Reception of places and sites of the Thracian culture into the traditional and modern Bulgarian culture’/„Рецепция на места и обекти на тракийската култура в традиционната и в съвременната култура на България”


[4] St Knjaz Boris I Mikhail [2] (aka Bogor, Bogoris; in Greek: Βόωρίς; Βόγορίς; * the first half of the IX c; † 2 May 907) was a Bulgarian ruler who baptized the Bulgarian people and introduced them to the Slavic script. He reigned from 852 to 889 and then shortly again in 893 when he dethroned his firstborn Vladimir Rasate and put on the throne his other son, Simeon.


[5] Simeon I the Great (old Bulgarian: цѣсарь Сvмеωнь) was a Bulgarian ruler (tsar), who ruled the First Bulgarian Empire from 893 to 927. Simeon’s victorious wars against Byzantium, the Magyars and the Serbs led to the biggest territorial expansion of Bulgaria ever turning it into the most powerful state in the then Eastern Europe.[5] His reign was also a period of cultural prosperity and enlightenment later deemed as the Golden Age of Bulgarian culture. During his reign the boundaries of Bulgaria reached out to three seas – the Aegean, the Adriatic and the Black, and his contemporaries compared his capital, Preslav, to Constantinople. The newly independent Bulgarian Orthodox Church became the first new patriarchate besides the Pentarchy, and Bulgarian Glagolitic and Cyrillic translations of Christian texts spread all over the Slavic world of the time. It was at the preslav Literary School in the 890s that the Cyrillic alphabet was developed. Halfway through his reign, Simeon assumed the title of Emperor (Tsar), having before that been styled Prince (Knjaz).


[6] St Tsar Peter (* 912 or around 900 , † 30 January (or 29 January) 969 г. ) was a Bulgarian tsar and saint, ruled Bulgaria from 927 to 969 . Peter was the second son of Simeon the Great. According to folklore narratives he was a brother of the Heavenly intercessor of Bulgarian kingdom, St Ivan Rilski.


[7] Paisiy Hilendarski, also often called Father Paisiy, was a Bulgarian national ‘wakener’ (enlightener) and a clergyman, author of ‘Istoriya Slavyanobolgarskaya’ [Slavic-Bulgarian History’]. His ideas about national revival and liberation of Bulgarian people have made many scholars define him as the founder of Bulgarian Revival.Movement. He was canonised as a saint with an act of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 1962.


[8] Georgi Benkovski (born: Gavril Gruev Hlatev) was a Bulgarian revolutionary and leading figure in the organization and direction of the Bulgarian anti-Ottoman April Uprising of 1876 and apostle of its 4th Revolutionary District. He was given the passport of a Polish émigré, Anton Benkowski, whose surname he adopted as a pseudonym, later changing his first name to Georgi.


[9] Vasil Ivanov Kunchev, aka Vasil Levski (originally spelt: Василъ Лѣвскій), is a national hero of Bulgaria. He was an ideologist and organizer of Bulgarian national revolution, a founder of the Internal Revolutionary Organisation (IRO). He was dubbed the Apostle of Freedom because he instituted a revolutionary network of committees set on the liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. He dreamed about pure and sacred republic in which everybody would be granted and enjoy equal rights regardless of their ethnicity or religion.

Literature:

  • Бакалова 2016: Е. Бакалова, Култът към реликвите и чудотворните икони. Традиция и съвременност, София, 2016. [E. Bakalova, The Cult to the Relics and the Miraculous Icons. Tradition and Modernity, Sofia, 2016.]
  • Бокова 2003: И. Бокова, „Завръщането“ на религиозното – път към интегриране на обществото (българите католици). – В: Известия на Исторически музей – Кюстендил, 2003, т.7. Велико Търново, 279-290. [I. Bokova, The Return of the Religiousity to the Integration of the Society (Bulgarian Catholics). - In: Notifications of the Historical Museum - Kyustendil, 2003, p.7. Veliko Tarnovo, 279-290.]
  • Гергова, 2016: Д. Гергова, Приноси към сакралната архитектура на бесите в светлината на изследванията в района на Велинград (предоставен ръкопис). [D. Gergova, Contributions to the Sacred Architecture of the Besses in the Light of the Studies in the Region of Velingrad (manuscript provided).]
  • Демирев 2006: В. Демирев, Съкровище и фолклорна история. Сливен, 2006. [V. Demirev, Treasure and Folklore History. Sliven, 2006.]
  • Демирев 2007: В. Демирев, За сакралните топоси във фолклорната история. – В: Български фолклор, 2007, 3, 7-18. [V. Demirev, About the Sacred Topos in Folklore History. - In: Bulgarian Folklore, 2007, 3, 7-18.]
  • Димитрова 2013: Цв. Димитрова, „Народната история“ между устност и писменост. София, 2013. [Tsv. Dimitrova, Folk History between Oral and Written. Sofia, 2013.]
  • Кандо 2001: Ж. Кандо. Антропология на паметта. София, 2001. [G. Cando. Anthropology of memory. Sofia, 2001.]
  • Куманов 2005: Г. Куманов. Фолклорната история в края на ХХI век – В: Проблеми на българския фолклор, т. 10, Фолклор, идентичност, съвременност, 2005, София, 461-471. [G. Kumanov. Folklore History at the End of the 21st Century - In: Problems of Bulgarian Folklore, Vol. 10, Folklore, Identity, Contemporaryity, 2005, Sofia, 461-471.]
  • Куманов 2008: Г. Куманов. Руините „Св. Спас“ край Чепино и обредните практики, свързани с християнския празник Възнесение Господне. – Във: Фолклорни ескизи от Чепинско (Поредица Цепина 2), 2008, 90-96. [G. Kumanov. The ruins of "St. Spas" near Chepino and ritual practices related to the Christian feast of the Ascension of the Lord. - In: Folklore essays from Chepino region (Series Tsepina 2), 2008, 90-96.]
  • Лидов 2009: А. Лидов, Иеротопия. Пространственные иконы и образы-парадигмы в византиской культуре, Москва, 2009. [A. Lidov, Hierotopia. Spatial icons and images-paradigms in Byzantine culture, Moscow, 2009.]
  • Малчев 2000: Р. Малчев, Фолклор и православно християнство. (По наблюдения върху културното пространство на Рилския манастир). – В: Български фолклор, 2000, № 3, 52-62. [R. Malchev, Folklore and Orthodox Christianity. (Observations on the Cultural Space of the Rila Monastery). - In: Bulgarian Folklore, 2000, № 3, 52-62.]
  • Моллов 2016: Т. Моллов, Третият в кладенеца (Календарно-астрономическа основа на мотива), (предоставен ръкопис). [T. Mollov, The Third in the Well (calendar-astronomical basis of the motif), (manuscript provided).]
  • Попконстантинов 1890: Хр. Попконстантинов, Чепино (Едно българско краище в северозападните разклонения на Родопските планини), СбНУ, 1890, III, 369. [Hr. Popkonstantinov, Chepino (One Bulgarian Edge in the Northwest Branches of the Rhodope Mountains), SbnU, 1890, III, 369.]
  • Рангочев 2003: К. Рангочев, Вторично набавяне на сакралност – модел за изграждане на етническата идентичност. – В: Езици на общуването. Год. на Асоциация „Онгъл“, 2003, 3, 148-156. [K. Rangotchev, Secondary Sacrament - a Model for Building Ethnic Identity. - In: Languages of communication. Annual of Ongle Association, 2003, 3, 148-156.]
  • Цепенков 2006: М. Цепенков, Фолклорно наследство. Т. 4. Легенди и предания., София, 2006. [M. Tsepenkov, Folklore Heritage. 4. Legends and Traditions., Sofia, 2006.]
  • Troeva 2015: E. Troeva, The Thracians: contemporary identifications and uses. – In: Ḗtudes Balkaniques, LI, Sofia, 1. 217-229.

 

Illustrations:

1 - Tsar Simeon the Great (gonfalon)

2 - Benkovski's "flying” detachment (gonfalon)

3 - View of the central temple building of the Thracian sanctuary

4 - A picture of work during archaeological excavations

5 - Knyaz Boris-Michail the Baptist (gonfalon)

6 - St. Seraphim of Sarov

7 - Rev. Paisii Hilendarski

8 - Vasil Levski

9 - Patriarch Evtimii

10 - Chapel "St. Proph. Ilia "- exterior view

11 - Paradise scene of the Last Judgment - King, Patriarch, Enlighteners, laymen (a model of a medieval notion of statehood)

12 - Scene "Oath" of the Revolutionary Committee of Vasil Levski (gonfalon)

 


 

"SŁABA MYŚL", GŁĘBOKI ŚLAD. UWAGI BADACZA MIGRACJI IDEAI NA BAŁKANACH

Grażyna Szwat-Gyłybowa

 
Michel Foucault, który swą archeologię wiedzy zbudował w opozycji do historii idei, stworzył wielostronicową definicję tej dyscypliny, którą uważał za do cna zużytą. Pisał m.in. „W lukach między wielkimi pomnikami dyskursów ukazuje ona sypki grunt, na którym stoją. Jest to dyscyplina chwiejnych języków, niekształtnych dzieł, nie powiązanych tematów. Jest to badanie raczej poglądów niż wiedzy, raczej błędów niż prawdy, raczej typów mentalności niż form myśli” (Archeologia wiedzy, 1979, s. 170). Chwiejność języków, amorficzność, sypkość gruntu ze szczególną siłą ujawniają się przy każdej próbie zastosowania narzędzi badań postsekularych w refleksji nad procesami negocjowania semantyki tych migrujących idei, które kształtowały nowoczesność na obszarze Słowiańszczyzny Południowej. Usystematyzowana analiza lokalnych dyskursów odsłania niejednoznaczne uwikłania tego, co z pozoru laickie i racjonalne, w paradygmaty teologiczne. Przy czym obraz ten wydaje się daleko bardziej skomplikowany niż sugerowałaby to Benjaminowska metafora „karła teologii”… Bowiem owych „karłów teleologii” pod stołem obrad często ukrywa się wielu, a każdy z nich posiada zazwyczaj także swój manichejski cień. Dowodzi tego materiał egzemplifikacyjny, zebrany przez zespół badaczy w ramach projektu grantowego „Idee wędrowne na słowiańskich Bałkanach. XVIII-XXI wiek” (NCN 2014/13/B/HS2/01057), obejmującego 27 idei o charakterze społeczno-politycznym (agraryzm, anarchizm, ewolucja, humanizm, historia, kapitalizm, klerykalizacja, konfesje, konserwatyzm, kształcenie, kultura, liberalizm, naród, nowoczesność, ojczyzna, oświata, oświecenie, polityka, postęp, racjonalizm, reformacja, religia, rewolucja, sekularyzacja, socjalizm, tradycja, uniwersalizm) w siedmiu krajach.

Nasze badania, zorientowane na przyrost wiedzy na temat potocznych wyobrażeń na temat wybranych idei, odsłaniają zmienność form, które pojawiają się i znikają, pozostawiając po sobie niejednoznaczny w sensie semantycznym ślad. Zarazem tzw. małe kultury dostarczają badaczom możliwości syntezy, jakich nie da się pomyśleć w przypadku kultur o nieporównywalnie większej liczbie źródeł. I w tym sensie mogą wiele więcej powiedzieć nam o nowoczesności, niż kultury aspirujące do miana Centrum. Tego typu doniosłość epistemologiczną przeczuwał Constantin Noica, czyniąc punktem wyjścia dla swej myśli filozoficznej byt kruchy, osłabiony, co pozostawało w harmonii z „antydualistycznym” aspektem jego rozumowania, odnoszącego się do kwestii modalności w obszarze i językowym i ontologicznym. Z tej perspektywy pytania o związek struktur językowych z heterogenicznością form teologicznych, zarządzających tym co miało być, a nie zaistniało, lub „zaistniało połowicznie” (np. „kapitalizm” bez kapitalizmu, „konserwatyzm” bez konserwatyzmu, „faszyzm” bez faszyzm, „rasizm” bez rasizmu etc.) stawia wymóg jeszcze bardziej pogłębionej analizy idei wędrownych na kolejnym poziomie meta-meta-refleksji.

 

WEAK THOUGHT, DEEP TRACE: OBSERVATIONS ON THE MIGRATION OF IDEAS IN THE BALKANS

Grażyna Szwat-Gyłybowa

 


Michel Foucault, who built his archaeology of knowledge in opposition to history of ideas, came up with a pages-long definition of the discipline, which he believed was a completely spent force. Among other things, he wrote that  “[i]n the interstices of the great discursive monuments, it reveals the crumbling soil on which they are based. It is the discipline of fluctuating languages (langages), of shapeless works, of unrelated themes. The analysis of opinions rather than of knowledge, of errors rather than of truth, of types of mentality rather than of forms of thought” (The Archeology of Knowledge, Routledge Classics 2002, transl. 1972,  p. 153). This kind of linguistic fluctuation and amorphousness, along with the crumbling soil of its foundations, become particularly apparent every time we try to apply the instruments of post-secular studies to our reflection on the processes of negotiation that affect the semantics of migrating ideas that shaped modernity in the South Slavic area. A systematic analysis of the local discourses brings to light the way in which seemingly secular and rational elements turn out to be ambiguously enmeshed with theological paradigms. However, the overall picture is far more complicated than Water Benjamin’s metaphor of the “dwarf” (Zwerg) of theology might suggest. To borrow and extend Benjamin’s metaphor, the automaton actually seems to be concealing not one but many “dwarves of theology”, who as often as not cast Manichaean shadows of their own. This diagnosis is borne out by the body of evidence collected by a team of researchers investigating a grant project on migrating ideas in the Slavic Balkans from the 18th to the 21st centuries (NCN 2014/13/B/HS2/01057), which encompasses twenty-seven different social-political ideas (agrarianism, anarchism, capitalism, clericalization, confessions, conservatism, culture, education, enlightenment, evolution, fatherland, formation, history, humanism, liberalism, modernity, nation, politics, progress, rationalism, reformation, religion, revolution, secularisation, socialism, tradition, universalism) across seven countries.

Our research aimed to grow our understanding of popular notions concerning each of those ideas to reveal the fluctuating forms that appear and disappear, leaving behind semantically ambiguous traces or residues. At the same time, so-are called “small cultures” offer researchers a chance to come up with a far more comprehensive synthesis than would ever be possible in the case of a larger culture containing a much greater number of sources. In this sense, small cultures can throw a much clearer light on modernity than cultures that aspire to a more central status. The epistemological significance of this fact had been intuited by Constantin Noica, who chose to treat the fragile and the weakened as the starting point in his philosophical  explorations, an intellectual choice in tune with the anti-dualist aspects of his thinking regarding the problem of linguistic and ontological modality. When viewed from that perspective, any questions about the connection between linguistic structures and the heterogeneity of theological forms that manage the characteristic failed or failing projects such as “capitalism” without capitalism, “conservatism” without conservatism,  “fascism” without fascism, “racism” without racism, etc. emphasize the need for further and more comprehensive analysis of migrating ideas at a higher level of meta-meta-reflection.