Title of the article:



Galina S. Popovkina

Information about the author/authors

Galina S. Popovkina — PhD in History, Senior Research, Institute of history, archeology and Ethnography of the peoples of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushkinskaya St., 89, 690001 Vladivostok, Russia. E-mail: galina.popovkina@gmail.com


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 50


pp. 66–78


March 13, 2018.

Date of publication

December 28, 2018

Index UDK


Index BBK



The article focuses on texts of prayers and healing spells of East Slavs to determine perceptions about disease and health in orthodox and healers` traditions. It also examines etiologies, methods of diseases` description and naming, diseased state, fighting disease and consequences of diseased state. The author highlights features of health description, ways to establish one`s health and purposes that call for availability of health. Texts of prayers and healing spells display various attitudes towards sickness, health and person itself: prayers draw special attention to the patient`s state of mind, opportunities of his spiritual growth, whereas spells, on the contrary, focus on the release from sickness and acquisition of earthly well-being in the form of health. The paper concludes by detecting an essential discrepancy of disease and health perceptions in healing spells and prayers which is due to the differences in worldviews of the Orthodoxy and folk medicine. 


prayers, healing spells, disease, health, traditional medicine, Orthodoxy, East Slavs.


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