Text, Context and Performance
by James Alexander Kapaló
Past scholarship on the Gagauz people has focused on their ethnic origins and the tension between their Christian faith and Turkish linguistic identity. This study, based on extensive fieldwork in the Republic of Moldova, approaches the problem of this central dichotomy in Gagauz identity through the lens of daily religious practices. This empirical approach reveals how scholarly discourses on ‘folk religion’ guide the local fieldworker’s identification of what are ‘folk’ religious practices and thus actualises 'folk religion' in a given context.The book offers a fresh methodological perspective on ‘folk religion’ as discourse and object of study and is the first monograph in a Western European language on the religion, history and identity of this under-studied European people.