Religion as a Shelter


The custom of donating pictures is still alive in the Franciscan abbey and church at Máriaradna (Arad County, Romania). This provides the possibility of examining the relation between the people and pictures, between the people and the picture collection. In the examined multiethnic, multilingual and multicultural region of the Banat this Roman Catholic tradition of donating pictures has particular symbolic meanings of a religious, ethnic and cultural nature and is also related to the tolerance shown by the Franciscans towards manifestations of folk religion. The social and mental processes in the past decades in the Romanian Banat at could be characterised briefly as: flight from uncertainty and the search for security. Religion and the institutions of religion have a major role in this process.

How to Cite

Barna, G., (2004) “Religion as a Shelter”, Ethnologia Europaea 34(1), p.70-80. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.



Gabor Barna (University Szeged)



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