The Red Corner: The Creative Dimension of Folk Christianity in Russia and Beyond(DVD,CD)


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Russia is known as the country of "two faiths," where Christianity and native traditions merge. Orthodox faith blends with ancient magical practices, and Christian saints take on the personality and powers of older gods. Even the home contains a combination of Christian and pagan elements, including the sacred "Red Corner." Outside the formality of the church, Russian traditional spiritual culture is one of creative participation, with legends and folk narratives that include doing deals with the saints and the forces of nature. A spirituality that combines Christianity, local lore, and an awareness of nature is found in other traditions too, from England to Ethiopia. Rather than dismissing folk religion as unsophisticated, perhaps we can find a genuine spiritual path within it, one that offers a lively dialogue between our heritage and the tenets of Christianity. This lecture was delivered to the TSA sponsored conference entitled "The Mystical Heart of Christianity: Moving Beyond Literalism." 2008. 80 minutes.