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ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming 2022 Conference: Charms, Canonical and Non-Canonical

September 6 at 8:00 am - September 9 at 5:00 pm EDT

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ISFNR Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming 2022 Conference: Charms, Canonical and Non-Canonical

September 6 at 8:00 am September 9 at 5:00 pm Riga/Latvia/Virtual

At various times and places, alongside the texts and practices based on the canons of science and religion, other unofficial but widely practiced traditions have existed. The traditions of charms and folk medicine feature traits of both ‘high’ cultures and peripheral otherness, in practices that have interacted over time. Historically, their co-existence has often been peaceful and complementary, though at times violent as well. Traditions practiced by the masses could be banned and persecuted. This clash was based on the values of different cultures, religions, and ethnic groups, as well as economic considerations. At the same time, the antagonism between these values enriched tradition, whether that be the clashes between official religion and folk religion, permitted and forbidden medicine, correct and deluded texts and practices, or so on. Priests, monks and educated doctors have fought for the right to heal the people; church canons, prayers, and the cult of saints have influenced folk traditions; the development of conventional medicine has changed local traditions, while local conditions have determined the regional peculiarities of official religion and conventional medicine.


This conference aims to focus on canonical and non-canonical texts and practices, their coexistence and interaction over time. The conference also invites discussion on terminology and methodology of the discipline, analogue and digital resources, and future perspectives.

The conference will take place in Riga at the National Library of Latvia as an in-person event with the option of some papers being presented virtually.

National Library of Latvia

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