Ossetian Ritual Feasts and Transpersonal Experience: Re-description of a Religion as a Religious Practice


  • Sergei Shtyrkov European University St Petersburg


North Ossetia, New Age, religious nationalism, nativism, transpersonal psychology


The protest of the North Ossetian nativist religious movement against discourses of dominant institutions in the public sphere involves as its necessary component ‘re-description’ of religion in general and ‘re-constructed’ religious systems in particular. Usually, this means revealing allegedly forgotten ancient meanings of indigenous customs, rituals and folklore texts through the use of various concepts taken from esotericism and/or practical psychology. The language for this re-description is provided by conceptual apparatus developed by New Age movements. Of particular interest in this respect is the language of ‘new science’, ‘alternative history’, ‘transpersonal psychology’, etc., employed as a tool for criticising the established system of Christian-centric understanding of what religion is and what its social functions are.


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