Browsing by Subject "Church history"

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  • Kahlos, Maijastina (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2016)
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  • Kallio, Kati; Lehtonen, Tuomas M. S.; Timonen, Senni; Järvinen, Irma-Riitta; Leskelä, Ilkka (Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2017)
    Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran toimituksia
    Laulut ja kirjoitukset: suullinen ja kirjallinen kulttuuri uuden ajan alun Suomessa (Songs and writings: oral and literary culture in early-modern Finland) has been written at the crossroads of historical and folkloristic studies. Our purpose is to study the interface of literary and oral cultures in early modern Finland, focusing on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The book renews the understanding of exchange between the learned culture of clergymen and the culture of commoners, or “folk”. What happened when the Reformation changed the position of the vernacular language to literary and ecclesiastical, and when folk beliefs seem to have become an object for more intensive surveillance and correction? How did clergymen understand and use the versatile labels of popular belief, paganism, superstition and Catholic fermentation? Why did they choose particular song languages, poetic modes and melodies for their Lutheran hymns and literary poems, and why did they avoid oral poetics in certain contexts while accentuating it in others? How were the hagiographical traditions representing the international medieval literary or “great” tradition adapted to “small” folk traditions, and how did they persist and change after the Reformation? What happened to the cult of the Virgin Mary in local oral traditions? This book studies the relations and mutual influences of oral and literary cultures in Finland during the long period stretching from late Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The Reformation, the process of turning vernacular languages into literary ones, the rise of new early-modern territorial principalities, and the reorganisation of the whole Baltic Sea area in the sixteenth century and after all affected both people’s everyday lives and the spheres of the sacred. The learned elites became interested in folk beliefs and practices as they started to argue about and order their own religious practices in a new way. Lutheran congregational singing spread from the German area to the northern Baltic Sea regions. The first Finnish sixteenth-century reformers admired the new Germanic models and avoided the Finnic vernacular Kalevala-metre idiom, while their successors picked up many vernacular traits, most notably alliteration, in their ecclesiastical poetry and hymns. Over the following centuries, the new features introduced via new Lutheran hymns such as accentual metres, end-rhymes and strophic structures were infusing into oral folk poetry, although this took place also via secular oral and literary routes. On the other hand, seventeenth-century scholars cultivated a new academic interest in what they understood as “ancient Finnish poetry”. The main source materials studied in this book are from the Reformation period and immediately after, when Finnish clergymen wrote their first comments and depictions of folk beliefs and worked to create Lutheran hymns in Finnish, and also largely from the nineteenth century, when most Finnish folk poetry and older oral traditions were collected. These later folklore materials are used here to shed light on the transformations of folk beliefs and poetic forms during the centuries that followed the Reformation. The emphasis is on the areas which formed the old medieval diocese of Turku (Swedish Åbo) or what the Swedish rulers called the province of Österland (Lat. Osterlandia, later Finlandia) west from the border of Nöteborg (Finnish Pähkinäsaari) between Sweden and the Grand Duchy of Novgorod in 1323. In addition, some other sources, especially from the Finnic and Scandinavian areas, are used as comparative material.
  • Lampinen, Antti Johannes (2017)
    The article studies the literary representation of subaltern religiosities in the context of Late Roman and Early Merovingian ecclesiastical writing in Gaul, and its relationship with Late Antique ideas about the characteristics of rural societies. By projecting an image of an atavistic rustic mass of religiously substandard commoners, who moreover were unable to participate constructively in most kinds of religious acculturation, the episcopal hierarchy of Gaul was able to tap into a powerful source of legitimacy for their privileges. These chains of utterances, examined through the acta of church councils and synods and compared with hagiographical writing, gained plausibility from their very participation in a literary tradition of ethnographicising expositions of subaltern religiosities. By studying techniques of vicarious memory ascription, knowledge ordering, and both intra- and inter-generic enrichment of ecclesiastical texts, I hope to provide some new angles into the Gallo-Roman and Merovingian ecclesiastical writing on lower-class religiosity, which is too often read as a straightforward reflection of conversion processes among the general population. It is suggested that in some historical contexts, socially unequal memory-ascriptions made within conversion narratives can usefully be examined through comparisons with colonial subaltern studies.