ON CANONIZATION AND DECANONIZATION (CANONIZATION AND PEOPLE’S VENERATION OF SAINTS - PROBLEM OF COUNTERPOINT)

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Abstract


The article discusses the issue of criteria of holiness in the Russian hagiography and public consciousness, and the characteristics associated with that of saints. The analysis allowed stating that what today is considered the official canonization is often just agreement with the fact of "popular canonization" done long before the official procedure in the public consciousness. It happens, first of all, because the veneration of some ascetics lies generally outside any procedures that only give legitimacy to the cult already established in the public consciousness. The issue of the criteria of holiness and canonizations related to them is full of contradictions and it does not fit into the framework of formal procedures. Therefore, no official decanonization may be, primarily because the veneration of some ascetics lies generally outside any procedures that only give legitimacy to the cult already established in the public consciousness. And so the formal side of the issue only depends on a name being in the calendar. But the informal side does not depend at all on any procedures. In order to identify at least some procedural boundaries of canonization, there should be a permanent body ready to work for several decades. Otherwise "canonization" and "decanonization" will occur regardless of certain authorities and commissions.

B G Yakemenko

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Email: Borislj@mail.ru
Department of Russian History

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