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Key words
life values, Armenians, vernacular religiosity, folk Christianity, surb, matakh
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (495) 938-18-20 3
2a, Leninsky av., Moscow, 119334, Russian Federation
Postgraduate student, N. N. Miklukho-Maklay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Tel.: +7 (495) 250-61-02 6,
build. 2, Miusskaya sq., Moscow, 125047, Russian Federation
Lecturer, Center for Social Anthropology, Russian State University for Humanities

The article studies the folk Christianity in Armenia —  the religious everyday life, which includes a special perception and understanding of Christianity as well as specifi c practices that diff er from the forms of manifestation of religiosity and worship offi  cially approved by the Armenian Apostolic Church. It analyzes such a complex phenomenon as surb, this term may denote any sacred places in a house, inside a village or beyond. In the minds of village inhabitants, they are all in a common sacred fi eld and diff er only in the degree of their holiness. The article also considers the cult practices of village inhabitants of some Armenia regions, mainly the Aparan region of Western Armenia, including such an ancient rite of sacrifi ce as matakh. The article examines the relationship between the offi  cial Church representatives and those who practice the rites of the folk Christianity. The topic is presented through analysis of statistic data, in-depth interviews and day-to-day narratives of people with the researchers’ observations as a background. The fi eld work done in 2015 and 2016 is a part of the framework of a research project devoted to the problem of constructing of life meanings and life values which is held by Center of the Social Anthropology, Russian State University for Humanities, in 2015–2017.


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