Universitatea „1 Decembrie 1918” Alba Iulia, Centrul de cercetări istorice şi politologice „Iuliu Maniu” “1 December 1918” University of Alba Iulia, Center for Historical and Political Research “Iuliu Maniu”
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4 / 2013
Istorie si studii culturale
For Whom the Flames Burn, Mister Şerboianu? A Unique Perspective upon Cremation in Romania
In contemporary Romania cremation is a neglected research theme, while in the everyday life tends to be a taboo subject. If postmodernism began to abandon the cultural paradigm of forbidden death, by increasingly displaying death in mass-media, this is not the case for cremation, not in Romania, where the dominant Orthodox Church considers cremation to be a sin and where the popular beliefs on cremation are anchored exclusively in negative representations. The present research aims at analysing the writings dedicated to various aspects of cremation of the inter-war orthodox priest Calinic I. Popp Şerboianu, underlining his efforts in pointing out the connections between cremation and the essence (not the practices or the common perceptions) of orthodoxism. There are three main dimensions of Şerboianu’s cremationist discourse: the critique of the Romanian Orthodox tradition, the deconstruction of popular representations of cremation and the (re)construction of a positive imaginary of cremation. The paper concludes with the cultural relevance of Şerboianu’s cremationist discourse.
Keywords: Calinic I. Popp Şerboianu, cremation, orthodoxism, representation, deconstruction, imaginary
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