Ethnocultural stereotypes in cross-confessional contacts in Belarus. Towards an ethnolinguistic commentary Cover Image

Этнокультурные стереотипы в межконфессиональных отношениях в Белоруссии: опыт этнолингвистического комментирования
Ethnocultural stereotypes in cross-confessional contacts in Belarus. Towards an ethnolinguistic commentary

Author(s): Nikolaj P. Antropov, Elena Boganeva, Tat'jana Volodina
Subject(s): Language studies, Language and Literature Studies, Applied Linguistics, Cognitive linguistics, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Philology
Published by: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Marii Curie-Sklodowskiej
Keywords: ethnocultural stereotypes; ethno-religious stereotypes; Catholic; Orthodox; Old Believers; Baptist; Jew

Summary/Abstract: In the light of historical sources, texts of folklore and spoken data recorded in villages, the multiethnic and multi-confessional Belarus is not so tolerant as is commonly believed. In folk mentality, the concepts of a “nation” and “faith” are combined and thus ethno-confessional stereotypes emerge. However, one may observe that nowadays the two notions are being distinguished and need not tally. The article discusses the relationships between and mutual stereotypes of particular confessions. The relationships between Catholics and members of the Orthodox Church are non-confrontational but nevertheless asymmetrical because the latter tend to underscore the “correctness” of their faith. The oppositions “old–new” or “first–second” are devoid of valuation. Old Believers clearly oppose the Orthodox and emphasize the mutual “foreignness”. Mutual images of the Orthodox and the Old Believers are more distant than would seem on the basis of the common religious ground; the latter are said to be prone to sin, especially theft, which is then easily forgiven. At the same type, the stereotype of Old Believers contains as major components faith, health and affluence, while a frequent common celebrations of major Christian holidays and the accompanying mutual visits point to a high degree of tolerance. Baptists and Jews are viewed as much more alien. Particularly disturbing is their lack of cult of the Virgin Mary and saints, sometimes also the lack of belief in Jesus. At the same time, the image of Baptists is becoming more positive in Byelorussian villages due to the former’s abstinence. The authors suggest that it is necessary to extend the research on ethno-confessional stereotypes in Belarus mainly with analyses of recordings of oral data.

  • Issue Year: 20/2008
  • Issue No: 20
  • Page Range: 269-280
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Russian