Research news

Women and Spirituality

Publish Date: 29.01.2021

Category: Researchers in focus , ERC & MSCA, Our contribution to sustainable development goals

Sustainable development goals: 5 Gender equality (Indicators)

The aim of the project is to describe and understand the feminine aspects of spirituality, including but not restricted to magical practices, esoteric phenomena and religious belief. In order to highlight these processes from the women’s perspective a specific actor of contemporary religion is put in the centre of attention: the wise woman.

In the past among wise women there were experts of magic, healing and divination, and some of them also took up religious roles, such as prophetesses or priestesses. It seems that they preserved their important function in present day urban and rural communities. With the New Age vogue of alternative medicine, new religious movements and spiritualities their popularity is emerging. The study will examine various types of present-day wise women in both urban and rural communities of South Western Hungary, Northern Croatia, and Slovenia. It also explores how their new-type, internet-based, globalized knowledge is produced, disseminated and received. The current examination draws on the researcher’s former ethnographic and historical inquiries carried out in Hungary within the frames of the Vernacular religion on the boundary of Eastern and Western Christianity: continuity, changes and interactions ERC project (agreement No. 324214) under the direction of Prof. Éva Pócs, see

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 898740. The project is mentored by Prof. Mirjam Mencej and carried out at the Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Ljubljana. The achievements are regularly published at the project’s website

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