Author ORCID Identifier

Petro Kotliarov: https://orcid.org/0000- 0002-8917-8926

Valentyna Kuryliak: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5245-9700

Stefaniia Demchuk: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3477-1316


The so-called ‘memorial turn’ triggered a huge shift in historical studies of the late 20th century. It brought into focus stories of the ‘small people’ previously left out from the ‘grand narrative.’ For post-Soviet countries, the memorial turn can be perceived as an indicator of changes in society associated with the opportunity and interest of previously oppressed social groups and religious movements in finding their "roots," when the reconstruction of personal history becomes the history of the church and strengthens collective identity. In this essay, we attempted at reconstructing the traumatic history of the "little" people in the context of the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our main source was Pavlo Derevinsky's memoir treatise, where he gave an account of his father's life and of the persecutions he experienced. The author of the treatise goes beyond the narration of the story of one person and appeals to the idea of a common past, creates important prerequisites for strengthening collective identity. The memoirs, too, provide an opportunity to look differently at the problem of religious and collective identity, often viewed, as limited to the preservation of traditions, religious symbolism, dogma, norms, or teachings. The memoirs, however, became an important tool for creating a collective identity based on a common traumatic story, which, due to the author's constant parallels between the past and the present, created a special feeling of community. Thus, belonging to common history, gives, too, an awareness of belonging to a certain group, nation, and country.



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