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Keywords: anthropology of blasphemy and sacrilege, popular demonology, baby devil, monstrous births, migratory legends.
For citation:

Panchenko A.A. Why Was a Baby Devil Born: The Legend about a Blasphemous Communist, Monstrous Births, and the Limits of Religious Didactics. Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 2, pp. 252–287. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-2-252-287

Author: Alexander A. Panchenko
Information about the author:

Alexander A. Panchenko, DSc in Philology, Professor, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkinsky Dom), Russian Academy of Sciences, Makarov embankment, 4, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: February 17, 2018
Published: June 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №2
Department: Folklore Studies
Pages: 252-287
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-2-252-287
UDK: 398.1
BBK: 82.3

Abstract

In 1923, the Russian ethnologist and archaeologist Vasily Smirnov published an article entitled “A Devil is Born. (Contemporary Legend)”. The article dealt with an unusual demonological legend that had appeared short time ago in Soviet Russia. It told a story of a baby devil who was an offspring of one communist. In his commentaries, Smirnov pointed at some parallels between European folk narratives, legends about miraculous icons, the story about the burning bush in the Book of Exodus, beliefs related to succubi and incubi, legends about the birth of antichrist, and Christian eschatology in general. However, those observations require certain corrections. In fact, the narrative about the baby devil is an international legend, and its history can be the ground for general discussion about evolution and functions of didactic stories in Christian culture.

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