Folk Religion in Discourse and Practice

  • James Alexander Kapaló Study of Religions Department University College Cork O’Rahilly Building, Cork, Ireland

Abstract

‘Folk religion’ is a contested category within the study of religions, with scholars increasingly advocating its abandonment. This paper encourages a new critical engagement with ‘folk religion’ as both a category of analysis and as a field of practice. I argue for a renewed attentiveness to the ideological dimensions of categories deployed by scholars and to the relationship they bear to the field of practice they seek to signify. Firstly, I explore the discursive nature of the construction of ‘folk religion’ as a category of analysis and how its semantic loading functions to ‘pick up’ distinctive practices from the religious field. Secondly, drawing on the work of Bourdieu and Riesebrodt, I characterise the ‘folk religious field of practice’ as relational, a shifting site of competing agencies. My argument is illustrated with empirical examples drawn from ethnographic research in Romania and Moldova.

Author Biography

James Alexander Kapaló, Study of Religions Department University College Cork O’Rahilly Building, Cork, Ireland
Lecturer, PhD
Published
2013-09-15
How to Cite
KAPALÓ, James Alexander. Folk Religion in Discourse and Practice. Journal of Ethnology and Folkloristics, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 1, p. 3-18, sep. 2013. ISSN 2228-0987. Available at: <http://www.jef.ee/index.php/journal/article/view/116>. Date accessed: 21 jan. 2020.
Section
Articles

Keywords

folk religion; vernacular religion; Romania; Bourdieu; Riesebrodt