Mäetagused vol. 14
Cognitive Religious History
The article is concerned with a scientific approach which emerged in the
1990s and uses scientific results in psychology, linguistics,
neurology and other sciences for studying religious convictions and
behaviour. Cultural anthropology tends to explain religious beliefs
through «cultural context», but this has often proved
insufficient: beliefs also reflect the essence of human perception.
The spectrum of religious ideas not unlimited as the ideas are based
on human cognitive structures. The author makes a reference to Boyer
by categorising the forms of perception into «intuitive»
and «counterintuitive». Pyysiäinen concludes that
specifically religious cognitive mechanisms do not exist. Religious
reasoning and behaviour can be explained without reference to God's
revelation. By that the author does not claim that «revealed»
perception does not exist, but that it cannot be distinguished from
Christian and Non-Christian Religious
Communities in Estonia in the 1990s
There was a national reawakening in Estonia at the end of the 1980s.
Most denominations that had remained active in Soviet Estonia
revived. Increasing interest was felt for religion. Since the turn of
the 1980s and 1990s, many new Christian and non-Christian
denominations and religious movements began to spread, often
introduced into Estonia by foreign missionaries. After the opening
years of the 1990s, broader public began to lose interest in
different churches, denominations and religious movements.
However, most of the new religious communities still continue their
activities in Estonia. Estonian religious organisations receive legal
status after registration, and by the year 2000 more than 500
religious congregations had been entered in the church register.
There are also many religious organisations and movements which have
not been registered. This article gives a review of the latter, as
well as the brief description of legal churches, congregations and
organisations which have been active in Estonia during the 1990s.
Word of Life: Salvation, Healing and Success
author provides an overview of the predecessors of the new religious
group Word of Life(the healing-revival of the Pentecostal Church in
the 1950s and other Charismatic Ministries), its emergence in the
United States and spreading to Scandinavia, incl. Finland. The paper
presents a more detailed account of the versatile activities of the
«Elämän Sana» congregation in Turku.
The author also observes the so-called 'success theology' from the
historical aspect and its manifestations in denominations discussed
here. Main focus is on how members of the congregation define
success, which they perceive as a sign of God's blessing.
The Beginning and Activities of the Word of Life Congregation in Estonia,
Word of Life Church in Tartu
The overview by a congregation member serves to complement and intends to
draw parallels with the article by Tuija Hovi. It introduces events
preceding the formation of the Estonian Word of Life congregations
and their development in the late 1980s. The main focus is on the
work of Tartu congregation.
On the Transformation of Apparition Stories
in Scandinavia and Germany, c. 1350-1700
The article explores the transformation of apparition stories after the
late Middle Ages and the Reformation in Scandinavia and the Lutheran
parts of Germany. Angelic apparitions replaced the former Catholic
Marian and saint apparitions. Lutheran apparitions did not, however,
lead to the establishment of a cult, nor was the place where
apparitions had occurred viewed as sacred. Theologians have argued
that while a number of apparitions (and apparition stories) were true
and useful (historiae), many of them were perceived as
fiction (fabulae). Since the apparition stories contain a
number of recurrent elements, the author observes different
factors, which might have influenced the development of these
elements. A number of motifs have stayed active and are used in new
stories by common knowledge, ecclesiastical teaching and practice,
oral communication and cheap broadsides and pamphlets recounting
accounts of former apparitions.
O, Who Could Speak of Heavenly Matters in
the Earthly Language?
The Apparition of Mart Saal
The publication describes an apparition experienced by the Estonian
peasant and member of the Brethren's Congregation (Moravians) Mart
Saal in 1807 while seriously ill. He had seen himself walking
through the Golden Gates, seen the abode of the righteous and Jesus
Christ, the place of Last Judgement, etc. The paper presents his
account of the apparition (partly also in the form of a facsimile
copy), provides a transcribed and edited version of the same text,
and includes oral heritage about Mart Saal's family collected by J.
Oidermann, who had discovered the manuscript and forwarded it to the
archives some 117 years later.
article discusses oral and written heritage concerning the Brethren's
Congregation preserved in the folklore archives of the Estonian
Literary Museum. Mart Saal's apparition has been compared with other
authentic apparition accounts (i.e. those recorded by the recipient)
in a collection published by Rudolf Põldmäe in 1937, but
also with other oral narrative accounts and modern records, often
contributed by people sceptical of those who experience apparitions.
Popular Orthodoxy, Official Church and State
in Finnish Border Karelia before World War II
in Folklore 14
Postmodern Sites of Catholic Sacred Materiality
Leonard Norman Primiano
The article gives an overview of a general material culture of American
Catholicism and the changes in it on the example of a St Jude Shop in
Earth as a Relic of the Sacred and the Profane
article attempts to shed some light on beliefs and customs concerning
the concept of earth as a relic, and clarify the origin of the notion
'Holy Ground' and popular concepts associated with it. The author
draws parallels with the cult of saints, brings examples of the
transitory role of earth in connection with the burial sites and
apparition places of saints, and discusses the essence of contact
relics. The article concludes with drawing parallels with the
profane. The final comparison indicates that the reverence of earth
as a relic of the profane and the sacred coincides in several
aspects. This allows us to conclude that even today's irreligious
people have need for objects of worship, and the traditions
associated with earth and soil are regarded as an acceptable way of
satisfying this need.