The fall of communism, more than three decades ago, set in motion a strong religious comeback in Romania. This increase in Romanians practicing religion was felt across all denominations not just the Orthodox. In order to cope with the sudden increase of churchgoers, a large number of places of worship were built in a relatively short period of time. In some places, where material resources were limited, part of the industrial heritage left behind by communism was rearranged and transformed into a religious space (e.g., chapels and monasteries). The case study presented below shows the spectacular transformation of a former food laboratory into an Orthodox chapel in the early 2000s. Even if it is a small town, it reflects many of the questions and dilemmas when reconverting a religious space into a secular space and vice versa, namely: political and religious interference in small semi-rural communities, new forms of community cooperation between believers and members of the clergy, but also advancing modernity and accompanying changes in everyday religious life (la religion en train de se faire – fr). This study also shows how the Orthodox canonical requirements related to the consecration-construction of a sacred space were adapted to a completely atypical space – a sign of the vitality and adaptability of the church at the beginning of the millennium.
- Orthodox Church
- sacred space
- religious modernity
- religious ethnography
Book Reviews / Buchrezensionen: Mikhail Seleznev, William R.G. Loader and Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr (eds.), The Gospel of Matthew in its Historical and Theological Context, Papers from the International Conference in Moscow, September 24 to 28, 2018, WUNT 459, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2021, 470 S., ISBN: 978-3-16-160104-0 Arhid. Sebastian Barbu-Bucur, O versiune muzicală inedită a Prohodului Domnului în limba română, ediţie îngrijită şi studiu introductiv de Cătălin Cernătescu [An Unpublished Musical Version of the Lord’s Lamentation from the Romanian Tradition. Edition and Introductory Study by Cătălin Cernătescu], Basilica, Bucureşti 2021, 228 p., ISBN: 978-606-29-0427-2