Neoshamanism, National Identity and the Holy Crown of Hungary

in Journal of Religion in Europe
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This article analyzes state, national identity and religious revivalism by focusing on Hungarian neoshamanism and its connection to Hungary’s prized national symbol, the Holy Crown. In contrast to neoshamanic practices in the 1990s, the newly emergent forms of neoshamanism in Hungary have been incorporated into mainstream celebrations and major national holidays. How this happened and the underlying causes deserve serious scholarly scrutiny. By analyzing recent trends, new forms of state and alternative religious spheres are identified as coalescing into a new neoshamanistic religion in Hungary.



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 See, Péter, “The Holy Crown of Hungary,” 421–510.


Hann, “Socialism and King Stephen’s right hand,” 12–14.


See, “Országot szolgáló egyház”, Népszabadság, 21 June 1997, 1. The agreement, however, did not go smoothly. Opposition parties, and the governing Liberal Social Democratic Party, objected to the Government’s preferential treatment of the Roman Catholic Church. This conflict was resolved when the Government immediately took the action of inviting Church leaders for a roundtable discussion to work out cooperative agreements between the state and the Churches. This treaty concerns the nationalized Church properties during the communist takeover, religious education and state subsidies to Churches and religious orders. The treaty was ratified by the Parliament on December 2, 1997. Concerning this see the debate in “Egyház - állam- emberi jogok” (Church - state - human rights) Fundamentum 1/2 (1998), 77–80.


Szilágyi, “Quasi-religious character of Hungarian right-wing radical ideology,” 261.


Péter, “The Holy Crown of Hungary,” 422.


Wallis, Shamans/Neo-shamans, 57.


Richard K. Fenn, Beyond Idols: The Secularization of the Sacred (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), N. L. Zhukovskaya, “Neoshamanism in the context of contemporary ethno-cultural situation in the Republic of Buryatia,” Inner Asia 2/1 (2000), 26–36.


Hann, “Socialism and King Stephen’s right hand,” 24.


Robert N. Bellah, “Civil Religion in America,” Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 96/1 (1967), 1–21.


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