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Title: Religion and identity in a rural Greek community.
Author: Rushton, L.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3539 7843
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1982
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This thesis examines ritual activities in the town of Ve1vendos, northern Greece, seeing them in their social context. It is argued that identity boundaries are both affirmed and dissolved in religious contexts and that theoretical approaches to religion must allow for this or the boundary between what is individual and what is social in religion must remain obscure. The symbolic expression of attitudes to identity is found in ritual practice, and their explicit conceptualisation in theology. The Velvendos community had a high level of involvement in the struggle for a national existence but, by 1913, the nationalist cause had ceased to be a focus for community unity, and community identity in the present day is no simple matter. In ritual activities the community is depicted in two ways, as that body which has responsibility for maintaining the traditions of Orthodoxy, and as a community which shares enjoyment of a particular place in the universe. A distinction is made and maintained between material commitment or involvement and moral commitment. Only in the family are the two combined in a strong and exclusive loyalty. The family is a religious, as well as economic, unit, and the importance of its continuity is related to its participation in the greater entity, the Church. Life cycle rituals focus on the 'problem' of individual identity. Expressing this problem is the paradox of the 'person' - an entity which is unique yet exists only as part of something greater than itself. This paradox is located particularly in the ikon. It is in this aspect of identity that the close relationship between theological doctrine and the ordering of social relations becomes most apparent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy