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Holiness - an Attempt to Define It

An Anthropological Perspective

Author(s): Maria Schnitter
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, Anthropology, Cultural history, Theology and Religion, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology, Eastern Orthodoxy
Published by: Пловдивски университет »Паисий Хилендарски«
Keywords: holiness; saints; anthropology; Old Testament; hagiographical works; Orthodox understanding
Summary/Abstract: The paper attempts to define the term “holiness” from the point of view of anthropology. It traces the transformations of the understanding for “what/who is holy?” starting from the Old Testament term „ קדוש – kadosh” (meaning ‘separate, different’). The analysis of the ancient Slavic root *svęt- < *k’ṷen-to- leads to the Orthodox understanding of holiness as the ultimate level of spiritual bliss, an upper limit for the rise of humans in their humanity. Also observed is the problem of the “historical accuracy” of the hagiographical works. A series of examples are given for the social distinction of the saints’ behaviour, which places them not just ABOVE, but obviously fully OUTSIDE the social norms.

  • Page Range: 17-23
  • Page Count: 7
  • Publication Year: 2018
  • Language: Bulgarian