[“Trogat’ eto kladbishche – koshchunstvo”: kak arkheologicheskie raskopki mogut oskorbit’ chuvstva veruiushchikh i ukrepit’ etnoreligioznuiu identichnost’ v Severnoi Osetii – Alanii]
Type of publication: Research Article
North Ossetia – Alania, blasphemy, feelings of believers, nativism, religious ontology, archaeology
In 2020, in the Republic of North Ossetia – Alania, excavations of a burial ground near the medieval chapel in the village of Nuzal started. This architectural object is very important for the historical memory of Ossetians, as it is considered the tomb of Os-Bagatar, the last king of an independent medieval state of Alans, ancestors of Ossetians. In addition, this small building is inscribed as a very important element in two competing narratives about the true ethnic religion of the Ossetians. The Orthodox view the chapel in the village of Nuzal as an ancient Christian shrine (since medieval church frescoes have survived there), and Ossetian religious nativists view it as a pre-Christian site illegally appropriated by Christian missionaries. When excavations began, some nativists claimed the works were blasphemy. The article examines how the discourse of “insulting religious feelings” works, where the act of transgression is generated by the creative imagination of offended people rather than by the deliberate actions of the alleged blasphemers. Moreover, these feelings can stimulate the reinforcement of ethnic-religious identities that remain weakly articulated beyond these dramatic events.
This research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Russian Science Foundation, https://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769 [grant no. 21-18-00508]
Shtyrkov, S.A. 2023. “Trogat’ eto kladbishche – koshchunstvo”: kak arkheologicheskie raskopki mogut oskorbit’ chuvstva veruiushchikh i ukrepit’ etnoreligioznuiu identichnost’ v Severnoi Osetii – Alanii [It Is “Blasphemy to Touch This Burial”: How Archaeologists Can Hurt the Feelings of Believers and Strengthen the Ethnic-Religious Identity in the North Ossetia – Alania]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 93–110. https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541523020057 EDN: QUYLTU
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