The “Popular” Life of St. John of Rila as an Author’s Work Cover Image
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„Народное“ житие св. Иоанна Рыльского как авторское произведение
The “Popular” Life of St. John of Rila as an Author’s Work

Author(s): Valerii Lepahin
Subject(s): Language studies
Published by: Кирило-Методиевски научен център при Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: This paper is devoted to the “popular” Life of St. John of Rila. The author of the paper considers that the “popular” character of the work has been greatly exaggerated by researchers. The unknown author of the Life of St. John of Rila displays profound knowledge of the Bible. He provides exact and correct views of the essence and practice of monastic life. The composition of his work has a logical structure. The author of the Life also demonstrates an acquaintance with various kinds of church poetry (e. g. prayers and acathyst hymns). The author of the paper also considers the widespread opinion about the apocryphal character of the “popular” Life of St. John to be exaggerated. It is possible to interpret many symbols in this work (e. g. the white bee, the eagle, the pigeon, the snake, the ox and the little bell) not only as folkloric or apocryphal but also as purely Christian. The accentuation of the popular character of the Life excludes it from the history of Old Bulgarian literature. By the same token the anonymous hagiographer, a highly sophisticated and original 12th с. author, is also exluded.

  • Issue Year: 2001
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 27-48
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Russian