Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Zigon, “On Love”

February 7, 2013

Zigon, Jarrett. 2013. On Love: Remaking Moral Subjectivity in Post-rehabilitation Russia. American Ethnologist 40(1):201-215.

Abstract: Love, I argue, is a demand around which moral experience—and thus moral subjectivity—takes shape. Love entails the struggle to ethically remake oneself, and the response to its unavoidable demand has consequences for both oneself and others. I examine the moral experience of love as it was lived by two former participants in a Russian Orthodox Church–run heroin rehabilitation program in St. Petersburg. My discussion thus contributes conceptually and ethnographically to the growing literature on the anthropology of moralities.

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Kuropatkina, “Pentecostals and the Russian ‘National Idea'”

April 12, 2012

Kuropatkina, Oksana. 2012. The “New” Pentecostals and the Russian “National Idea.” Religion, State, and Society 40(1):133-144.

Abstract: This article considers the role and place of ‘New’ Pentecostals (Neo-Pentecostals) in modern social, cultural and political processes in Russia and their attempts to contribute to creating a new ‘national idea’ for postsoviet Russian society. I look at the context of current debate on the latter subject: socialists call for a reproduction of the Soviet experience; others call for building an ‘Orthodox Russia’; others support a ‘conservative synthesis’ which looks back at previous experience of state-building with a multiconfessional and multiethnic character and involves building a religious and moral basis on Orthodoxy and other ‘traditional religions’; yet others support the liberal model and the integration of Russia into the western world. In this context I consider various aspects of Pentecostal participation: their current practical activities (charitable activity and support for democracy and human rights); the building of a theocratic (Christian) state; the study of the Russian religious heritage and an attempt to synthesise Orthodox and Protestant (Evangelical) traditions; and prayer for the country in the apocalyptic perspective.

Poplavsky, “Pentecostal Churches in Russia”

April 12, 2012

Poplavsky, Roman. 2012. Pentecostal Churches in Russia: changing self-images and enculturation in Tyumen. Religion, State, and Society 40(1):112-132.

Abstract: This article deals with the process of inculturation of Pentecostal communities in Russia. From the perspective of Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of a linguistic market I describe the current negative image of Protestants in Russia, which derives from Orthodox conceptions of ‘canonical territory’ and ‘non-traditional religions’, and I show how Pentecostal churches in Tyumen’ oblast’, in Western Siberia just beyond the Urals, are trying to influence the political and religious discourse through changing this image by words and in practice. I identify three strategies of inculturation by Pentecostals: inrooting, stressing their lack of dependence on foreign missions and reluctance to use denominational labels. I pay special attention to changes in the ways in which Russian Pentecostals do evangelisation and social work. I conclude that it is self-censorship that is helping Pentecostals move to a new language in their dialogue with Russian society and the authorities.

Lofstedt, “Religious Revival among Orthodox and Pentecostals in Russia”

April 12, 2012

Lofstedt, Torsten. 2012. Religious Revival among Orthodox and Pentecostals in Russia: causes and limitations. Religion, State, and Society 40(1):92-111.

Abstract: In Russia in the late 1980s and early 1990s churches and denominations of all kinds grew quickly. Among those that grew most quickly were the Pentecostals. My impression is that by the mid-1990s, however, the growth rate for the leading Pentecostal denominations had slowed down considerably. In this paper I try to ascertain whether this in fact is the case and if so, what the causes for the slowdown in growth might have been. Because denominations have been reticent in sharing official membership statistics, I have looked for evidence of denominational growth rates in other places and have found evidence for a slowdown. I have then sought to explain the end of the revival among the Pentecostals. I find that the weakening of the Pentecostal churches is coupled with the strengthening of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russian society. The Orthodox Church has come to serve as an ethnic marker and it has successfully persuaded its adherents that non-Orthodox forms of Christianity are foreign sects. While I present little new empirical material, I ask new questions of the material available which help explain the slowdown in church growth among Russian Pentecostals.

Ładykowska, “The Role of Religious Higher Education in the Training of Teachers of Russian ‘Orthodox Culture’ “

March 4, 2012

Ładykowska. Agata (2012) “The Role of Religious Higher Education in the Training of Teachers of Russian ‘Orthodox Culture’ ” European Journal of Education [Special Issue: Russian Higher Education and the Post-Soviet Transition] 47(1):92-103

Abstract: This article provides an ethnographic account of the tensions arising from the different ways of building authority as teachers and the role of higher education in establishing teachers’ legitimacy in Russia through the specific example of religious education. After state atheism was abandoned in 1991, an unprecedented demand for religious knowledge appeared in Russia, in particular in relation to Russian Orthodoxy. Since the Russian context of Orthodox education lacks shared standards, there is considerable latitude in the criteria determining norms and rules. Seeking to increase its influence, the Russian Orthodox Church aspires to have Orthodox catechism taught in a systematic way both in parishes and in secular schools. In practice, the Church is encouraging professional pedagogues to submit their curriculum proposals that would be suffused with Orthodoxy and at the same time be eligible for adoption in all settings and institutions. Thus, in order to educate teachers of religion, the Church has made available multiple, diverse sources of religious knowledge (self-learning, various courses offered by the eparchies, Spiritual Academies, and other institutions of higher education). But the legitimacy of these sources is often questioned, for instance by asking whether the institution that delivers diplomas of religious higher education has been granted formal state recognition. The teachers’ quest for being acknowledged as competent technicians of religious education leads to competing claims for the authenticity of the sources of their training.

Tocheva, “Crafting Ethics”

November 22, 2011

Tocheva, Detelina. 2011. Crafting Ethics: The Dilemma of Almsgiving in Russian Orthodox Churches. Anthropological Quarterly 84(4): 1011-1034.

Abstract: With the liberalization of religious practices after the fall of the Soviet regime in Russia, almsgiving to beggars in Russian Orthodox churches has become one of the most widespread forms of Orthodox charity. However, the priests are faced with an ethical dilemma: should they be charitable with beggars or should they sanction those who do not live according to certain moral standards? This article examines how Orthodox priests interact with different groups of beggars and how they create ethical ways of acting. It proposes that contemporary Russian Orthodox ethics are multi-referential, anchored in historicity, relatedness, interaction, and creative reasoning.

Werth, “Lived Orthodoxy and Confessional Diversity”

November 2, 2011

Werth, Paul (2011) “Lived Orthodoxy and Confessional Diversity
The Last Decade on Religion in Modern Russia” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 12(4):849-65

Article Excerpt: “A decade ago in these pages, Gregory Freeze critiqued the historiography of religion since the fall of the USSR, remarking that it had “done little to illuminate the meaning of Orthodoxy in modern Russian society and culture.” Ten years on the situation looks rather different—in more ways than one. The meaning of Orthodoxy in a range of contexts has become a central preoccupation for historians of both the modern period and earlier eras. Indeed, in this essay I propose that a deep engagement with “lived Orthodoxy”—a concern for that religion as an adaptive cultural system and the variety of ways in which it was internalized and practiced—represents one of the principal accomplishments of the last decade.2 Nowhere has this development been more significant than in work on Orthodoxy in the rapidly changing conditions of late imperial Russia, which serves as the central focus of this essay. Indeed, the relationship between Orthodox piety and “modernity” has accordingly emerged as another central vector of the last decade’s scholarship. At the same time, it has become clear that Russia’s [End Page 849] religious history can no longer be contained under the heading “Russian Orthodoxy,” as was the case in Freeze’s essay. The scope of investigation has expanded substantially to include the other religions of Russian history—principally, but not only, Islam. These major themes—lived Orthodoxy, modernity, and multiconfessionalism—represent the three most significant trends in the scholarship of the last decade.”

Zigon, “HIV is God’s Blessing”

October 3, 2011

Zigon, Jarrett. 2011. “HIV is God’s Blessing”: Rehabilitating Morality in Neoliberal Russia. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Publisher’s Description: This provocative study examines the role of today’s Russian Orthodox Church in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Russia has one of the fastest-growing rates of HIV infection in the world—80 percent from intravenous drug use—and the Church remains its only resource for fighting these diseases. Jarrett Zigon takes the reader into a Church-run treatment center where, along with self-transformational and religious approaches, he explores broader anthropological questions—of morality, ethics, what constitutes a “normal” life, and who defines it as such. Zigon argues that this rare Russian partnership between sacred and political power carries unintended consequences: even as the Church condemns the influence of globalization as the root of the problem it seeks to combat, its programs are cultivating citizen-subjects ready for self-governance and responsibility, and better attuned to a world the Church ultimately opposes.

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