Full Text

Saloi


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


Extract

[ 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

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