Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Inventory, analysis and evaluation of the primary and secondary sources of Slovene researchers on 'the old faith in the region of Soča river"

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.02.00  Humanities  Archaeology   

Code Science Field
H190  Humanities  Non-Christian religions 

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
Old Faith, nature religion, Slovenia
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (6)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  18164  PhD Matjaž Bizjak  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2021  161 
2.  25576  PhD Katja Hrobat Virloget  Ethnology  Researcher  2019 - 2021  476 
3.  53246  Miha Mihelič  Humanities  Researcher  2019 - 2021  70 
4.  09461  PhD Andrej Pleterski  Archaeology  Retired researcher  2019 - 2021  602 
5.  33357  PhD Anja Ragolič  Humanities  Head  2019 - 2021  96 
6.  14711  PhD Cirila Toplak  Political science  Researcher  2019 - 2021  308 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,131 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,484 
3.  1822  University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities  Koper  1810014001  9,775 
When the Danes destroyed the Svetovid's shrine in Arkona in 1168 with fire and axes and baptized all the people of the Rugians in a few days, the last part of the Slavs lost the old faith of their ancestors. At least this seemed to be true, until a few years ago when objects and texts came to the public, a testimony of the existence of an organized pre-Christian belief in the Posočje region in the middle of the 20th century. Its members were organized as "a state in the state" with their own legal and executive authority. This made the scientific public aware of the need to change our view on the roots of our cultural, social and political past. The common public, however, experienced the exhibition and the book as a return of lost identity. A logical next step in Slovenian humanities and social sciences is the examination of information sources about the phenomenon that has emerged and their critical evaluation. As the project goal was defined by project contractor: preparation of a multidisciplinary study, which compiles, analyzes and evaluates the primary and available secondary sources of Slovenian researchers on "the old faith in the Soča river region". Already Josip Mal has noticed and warned that "the simple, with the nature narrowly connected Slovene man, was much more attracted with the real world, filled with all possible good and evil spirits, as just with the mere idea perceptible Christian doctrine of grace and salvation." It is a methodologically extremely important property of the old faith: the connection with the concrete living environment that people felt not only spiritually, but also physically. If we want to understand the old faith, we must know his space as well as we can. It is necessary to know the locations of trees, springs, mountains, waters, which narratives mention. Oral sources, however, say that the group of Old Believers on the right bank of the Soča River moved there from the East and since then there have been 14 "dehnars" (leaders). The last died around 1950 and if we count on average for 30 years for the duration of each dehnar, the arrival time was around 1530. Since it is probably an early modern age migration, when more written resources are available, we will use an analysis of settlement history. When determining the settlement history, which will try to identify individual colonization stages (to define the areas of older and younger settlements), the findings of the current historiography, especially the editions of relevant lists of duties, will be taken into account. The history of settlement can in many ways illuminate the narrative layers and connect with them, which will improve the knowledge of the history of the Old Faith in the Soča region. In addition to the aforementioned aspects, the ethnological aspect of the research is of fundamental importance. From an ethnological point of view, it will deal with material on the "Old Faith people in the Soča region" in the broader social context. Ethnologist will check with the folklore method whether this material is really so "different" from other folklore, beliefs and beliefs practices that we know elsewhere in Slovenia and beyond in Europe. Since folkloric aspect, most of this kind of research is done in the Balkans, where the material is better preserved in contrast to the Western world, the research will focus primarily on this part. Through the placement of material on the "Old Faith people" in the broader context with the recognition of analogies, the research will attempt to place "differently" material in the seemingly "wider" religious context. In disinterest (and doub) of ethnological and cultural anthropological profession for "the Old Faith people", the "people" is the one who recognized his heritage in the material about the "Old Faith", and thus in some way resisted the profession. This evaluation of the heritage of the "Old Faith" is now reflected in the great popularity of this tradition, as it has not yet experien
Significance for science
The project will have to develop some interpretative tools to explore hidden, invisible parallel societies that have not abandoned conventional information sources and survived only because of successful mimicry. These tools will be useful in comparable situations.
Significance for the country
The project will make a significant contribution to the cultural development of Slovenia, and its contribution to the protection of cultural heritage will be especially important, as it will help to define the protection of the monuments of the mythical landscape, which is currently "dying among the three masters": intangible heritage, archaeological heritage, natural heritage.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2019, 2020
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results
Views history