In 1974 Juliet du Boulay published her first work, Portrait of a Greek Mountain Village, now considered a classic text for the anthropology of Modern Greece. This sequel, the fruit of a lifetime’s reflection, adds new dimensions to this portrait, exploring the all-encompassing religious awareness of the same village community, and its rootedness in both Orthodox Christian and pre- or non-Christian ideas and practices. The story is told through a steady development of rich ethnographic detail in which the people come to life in all their vitality, contradictoriness, humour, realism and courage. From the particularities of life in the village a picture is built up in which the Byzantine legacy intertwines with fragments of antiquity, both Greek and Jewish, and with the universal themes, both tragic and hopeful, which confront man as he struggles to make sense of life. In this way a compelling pattern of symbols and images is revealed which underpin every action and event in the human and natural spheres, and is described here lucidly, convincingly and with great affection. 'Juliet du Boulay’s first book was a brilliant and elegant study of a community whose essential values were both material and sacred. Small subsistence holdings underlay the moral independence of families; and this reflected each day a kind of spiritual drama which she describes in this sequel, and relates to the symbolism of the Orthodox liturgy.' John Campbell, Emeritus Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford. 'A lovely work of ethnographic art . . . the book is virtually unsurpassed in its careful but not laborious coherence and overall development of exposition that convincingly extends the network of significant connections and at the same time presses the analysis deeper towards the ultimate grounds of Greek village imagination.' Rodney Needham, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, All Souls College, Oxford.
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