“… as the young girl told them so”

Women and Old Calendarism in Interwar Romania

In: Religion and Gender
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  • 1 University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

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Abstract

This article explores the role of women and young girls in Old Calendarist communities in Romania and presents new sources relating to neglected history of the practice of incarceration in Orthodox monasteries in the region. The community developed into a spiritual mass movement that soon became the target of the secret police. Women played an important role within these communities in terms of membership but also in relation to the preservation of Old Calendarist ideas. Explored through the prism of the former secret police archival documents, these women were deemed dangerous and were accused of luring people into the Old Calendarist groups. In contrast to the extremely negative representation of these women that we find in contemporary Orthodox Church publications, police reports and popular press articles, the letters and postcards that they wrote from detention offer us an insight into the private life, personality and motivation of these women.

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