Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
James A Kapalo
Religion and gender
"She read me a prayer and I read it back to her": Gagauz Women, Miraculous Literacy and the Reading of Charms
Optional Fields
Gagauz, Moldova, charms, marian apparitions
This paper explores the polyvalent and gendered nature of the relationship between the practices of reading and charming and the Mother of God in the dream narratives of Gagauz women in the Republic of Moldova. The most widespread healing text used by this Orthodox Christian minority, The Dream of the Mother of God, is paradigmatic of this relationship being the principle ‘site’ where images of and beliefs about healing and dreaming meet with women’s reading and writing practices. Women’s knowledge of reading and charming constitutes dangerous knowledge and their dream narratives of literacy and healing represent an important way in which gender and identity are performed by this group of women. I argue here that although dreams with the Mother of God and her text represent transgressions of patriarchal religious boundaries, their ability to contribute to the reimagining or renegotiation of gendered social roles for these women is limited.
ISSN: 1878-5417
Grant Details