FFC 276

Ülo Valk:
Manifestations of the Devil in Estonian Folk Religion.
Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia (Academia Scientiarum Fennica). 2001. 217 pp.

ISBN 951-41-0884-1 (hardback)
ISBN 951-41-0885-x (paperback)

22 euros (hardback)
18 euros (paperback)

This empirical study of the Devil in the collections of the Estonian Folklore Archives, reflecting the world of belief inhabited by the Estonians in the 19th and 20th centuries, is also a book about suspicion and fear in everyday life. It describes how religious folklore has drawn borders between the human and the non-human, how it has modelled the Other, the supernatural and social evil. As a study of folk narrative, and legends in particular, it mainly discusses variation at the level of motif with special reference to the visual guises of the Devil. These are projected against the backcloth of international folklore and demonological treatises on Christianity.

ÜLO VALK studied folklore, literature and Indology at the University of Tartu in the 1980s. He later worked as a researcher at the Folklore Department of the Institute of the Estonian Language and Literature, which in practice meant working in the national Folklore Archives. At present he is Professor of Estonian and Comparative Folklore at the University of Tartu. Dr Valk has done fieldwork in Estonia and India and has published articles on folk religion, demonology, legends and folksongs in Estonian and English. FFC 276 is a slightly revised version of his doctoral thesis, submitted to the University of Tartu in 1994.

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