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Rumor, Belief, and Contestation Amid the Conversion Movement to Orthodoxy in Northern Livonia, 1845-1848

Daniel C. Ryan
2004 Folklore  
This essay seeks to explore peasant strategies of contestation amid the episode of mass conversion to Orthodoxy in the Baltic province of Livonia, 1845-1848, which occurred amid a cycle of rumors promising worldly benefits for taking "the Tsar's faith." Converts and prospective converts frequently attributed obstructionist and persecutory actions to local authorities, and many peasants broke local ordinances or defied recent decrees in seeking to convert. The ubiquity of complaints, refusals,
more » ... laints, refusals, and infractions suggests that conversion offered a means of social protest and also raises questions regarding putative belief in the rumors.
doi:10.7592/fejf2004.28.livonia fatcat:45ykclqhejgbvhhhucficw2eu4