MIRACLE MAKER STEPHEN: IMAGE OF ST. STEPHEN OF PERM IN KOMI LEGENDS
The article compares the biography of St. Stephen of Perm, written by Epiphanius the Wise, with the stories about the miracle maker Stephen known in Komi folklore. The author explores the influences of Russian culture on Permian (Komi) culture by mediation of St. Stephen of Perm, and the association of folklore legends with the Christianisation of the Komi. The dialogue between the Russian Christian written tradition and the Komi pagan oral tradition, which was initiated by the Christianisation of the Komi at the end of the 14th century, was based on the philological activity of St. Stephen of Perm. It was him who translated into the Permian Komi language the main principles and concepts of Christian religion, which made the dialogue between Russian and Komi cultures possible. St. Stephen’s mission was complicated because he not only had to provide an accurate translation of Christian texts into another language, but also had to find and create meaning equivalents for Christian images in non-Christian tradition. St. Stephen of Perm became a key figure denoting the contact point of Russian and Komi traditions. In Russian tradition the acceptance of the Permian side was expressed in St. Stephen’s hagiology, which combines the biography of St. Stephen and the story of his journey to the Perm region. In Permian tradition St. Stephen and the events related to him are explained in folkloric texts about Christianisation.
Institute of Language, Literature and History of Komi Science Center of the Ural Division of Russian Academy of Sciences, 26 Str. Kommunisticheskaya, Syktyvkar 167982, Komi, RUSSIA
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