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Reading: ‘She read me a prayer and I read it back to her’: Gagauz Women, Miraculous Literacy and the ...

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‘She read me a prayer and I read it back to her’: Gagauz Women, Miraculous Literacy and the Dreaming of Charms

Author:

James Alexander Kapaló

University College Cork, IE
About James

James Kapaló is Lecturer in the Study of Religions at University College Cork, Ireland. His research focuses on religious minorities and marginalised communities in contemporary Eastern Europe.

 

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Abstract

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.

 

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.9172
How to Cite: Kapaló, J.A., (2014). ‘She read me a prayer and I read it back to her’: Gagauz Women, Miraculous Literacy and the Dreaming of Charms. Religion and Gender. 4(1), pp.3–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.9172
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Published on 23 Jun 2014.
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