Healing Chains, Relationships of Power and Competing Religious Imageries in the Monastery of Saints Kosmas and Damian in Kuklen (Bulgaria)

Magdalena Lubanska


This article offers an anthropological analysis of a conflict over the use of a set of 'healing chains' and other focal objects kept in the Orthodox Christian monastery of Saints Kosmas and Damian in Kuklen, Bulgaria. In a nutshell, the conflict captures the leading religious imageries propagated by the custodians of the monastery on the one hand, and the spiritual leaders of a new religious movement, so-called Deunovians, on the other. The analysis helps situate some of the significant changes currently affecting the religious culture of Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria within a broader social and cultural context.


healing chain; Orthodox Christians; Deunovians; religious imageries; Bulgaria; ekstrasensi

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jef-2016-0004

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ISSN (print) 1736-6518. ISSN (online) 2228-0987. JEF is a joint publication of the University of Tartu, the Estonian National Museum and the Estonian Literary Museum.