Title of the article:



Vladimir Yu. Lebedev

Alexander M. Prilutskiy

Information about the author/authors

Vladimir Yu. Lebedev — DSc in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Institute of Pedagogical Education and Social Technologies, Tver State University, Zhelyabova St. 33, 170100 Tver, Russia. E-mail: semion.religare@yandex.ru

Alexander M. Prilutskiy — DSc in Philosophy, Professor, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, Kazanskaya St. 6, 191186 St. Petersburg, Russia. E-mail: alpril@mail.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 55


pp. 8–20


April 29, 2019

Date of publication

March 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



The paper examines semiotic specifics of parahagiographic narrative as exemplified in a widely known story of “Zoya’s standing”. This story belongs in the field of the folk religiosity and functions in the semiosphere as pious folklore. Presence of structure, making the narrative related with religious folklore, and variability, caused by specifics of cultural circumstances, act as distinctive features. As a result, a lot of story`s variants appear. Religious atmosphere of the provincial town played its part in all that as well. Authors consider variable versions depending on their frequency (frequent or rare ones). As probable event gets farther in time, given story takes shapes of authoritative text narrating about real facts. It causes a lot of long-lasting discussions about those things semiotized in the text. As far as genre is concerned “Zoya’s standing” is a unique text combining features of several genres at once. The model of semiotic drift allows to explain the changing of genres within the text. Basic motive is a petrification having its origins in biblical metaphors to which other semiotic components are added, including condemnation of atheistic culture. Metaphor of spiritual petrification becomes a physical turning to stone. Appearance of the elder, who managed to interrupt the process, that no one was able to do before, acted as a sign of growing popularity of charismatic elders` phenomenon. The authors also explore a rare Protestant variant of the story. Cinematography appears as a new stage of semiosis, which, under certain circumstances, gives the story a stimulus to further metamorphoses. Authors draw upon a wide variety of sources including oral material gathered by themselves via field studies. 


hagiography, apocrypha, church legend, folk religiosity, religious discourse, mythology.


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