Full Text


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xiii.d ] ‘Fools for Christ’ (Russian: iurodivye ). These individuals, revered by Eastern Christians, deliberately adopted a crazed style of behaviour, a feigned lunacy that was intended to challenge current social values. Among the earliest holy fools recognized by the church were Isidora of Tabennisi (d. 369) and Symeon of Edessa (d. 590). Popular devotion to Andrew the Scythian (9th century) made this form of asceticism popular in Russia from the 11th century. The Russian tradition of ‘foolishness for the sake of Christ’ reached its peak with Basil of Mangazeia (d. 1552), to whom the famous cathedral in Moscow's Red Square is dedicated. Xenia of St Petersburg (d. 1796), Theofil (d. 1853), Pelagia (d. 1884) and Pasha of Sarov (d. 1915) continued to use ‘foolishness’ to rebuke and teach the Russian faithful in the modern era. The priest Panagis Basias (d. 1888) is one of the few examples of a Greek holy fool in the post-Byzantine period. [46; 77; 98; 104] ( see also A nargyroi ; N ew M artyrs .) ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top