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Lecture 20

SLAVC 90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Johann Gottfried Herder, Ukrainization, Deities Of Slavic Religion


Department
Slavic
Course Code
SLAVC 90
Professor
Roman Koropeckyj
Lecture
20

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Slavic 90
Lecture 20: Neo-Paganism and Slavic Pre-Christianity
- during Soviet period, Ukrainian seen as language without prospects (no upwards mobility,
since Russian was language of the learned/elite-- similar to how English is sign of upwards
mobility in most global south countries)
- Poltava = one of oldest Cossack cities in Ukraine, in late 1970s, only one school that taught
Ukrainian
- after 1991, push for Ukrainan language (retaliation)
- 1920s Ukrainianization program pushed for more widespread use of Ukrainian
- Ukrainians believe they are much more liberal, democratic, than Russia because they don’t
care about language spoken so long as people are loyal to Ukrainian, but Russian is cultural
hegemonic language which puts Ukrainian in losing position
//
- modern rise of neo-paganism as political movement, argue that baptism of Kyiv led to
Russian rule, USSR, and ultimately Ukrainian oppression
- like Scandinavian neopaganism, has heavy metal bent and is far-right wing
- sources of information on pre-Christian beliefs
- major source of information of pre-Christian rituals is observation from other
sources (Church, Muslim travelers)
- cannot be trusted because main goal is to convert these people
- observed, described, and contextualized in terms that are familiar to writer
but might not be accurate descriptor
- artifacts
- folk songs: passed down orally, not recorded until nineteenth century
- changed over time
- scribes transcribing them saw them through romantic, Herderian
eyes
- often ideas seen as folklore are ideas that trickled down from high
culture to folk (notion of love, separation of love and lovers, etc are
ideas that stem from Renaissance, etc)
- ritual objects: passed down for generations, and although culture of the folk
mutable, patterns indicate pre-Christian imagination/sensibility
- fairytales: tend to have deep structures which have almost universal
resonance, traveling motifs which affect each other (not particularly native
to any particular place)
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