Religion and Language in Post-Soviet Russia

Author: Brian P. Bennett

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136736123

Category: Religion

Page: 200

View: 3770

Church Slavonic, one of the world's historic sacred languages, has experienced a revival in post-Soviet Russia. Blending religious studies and sociolinguistics, this is the first book devoted to Church Slavonic in the contemporary period. It is not a narrow study in linguistics, but uses Slavonic as a passkey into various wider topics, including the renewal and factionalism of the Orthodox Church; the transformation of the Russian language; and the debates about protecting the nation from Western cults and culture. It considers both official and popular forms of Orthodox Christianity, as well as Russia's esoteric and neo-pagan traditions. Ranging over such diverse areas as liturgy, pedagogy, typography, mythology, and conspiracy theory, the book illuminates the complex interrelationship between language and faith in post-communist society, and shows how Slavonic has performed important symbolic work during a momentous chapter in Russian history. It is of great interest to scholars of sociolinguistics and of religion, as well as to Russian studies specialists.

Believing in Russia

Religious Policy After Communism

Author: Geraldine Fagan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415490022

Category: History

Page: 291

View: 2476

This book presents a comprehensive overview of religious policy in Russia since the end of the communist regime, exposing many of the ambiguities and uncertainties about the position of religion in Russian life. It reveals how religious freedom in Russia has, contrary to the widely held view, a long tradition, and how the leading religious institutions in Russia today, including especially the Russian Orthodox Church but also Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist establishments, owe a great deal of their special positions to the relationship they had with the former Soviet regime. It examines the resurgence of religious freedom in the years immediately after the end of the Soviet Union, showing how this was subsequently curtailed, but only partially, by the important law of 1997. It discusses the pursuit of privilege for the Russian Orthodox Church and other 'traditional' beliefs under presidents Putin and Medvedev, and assesses how far Russian Orthodox Christianity is related to Russian national culture, demonstrating the unresolved nature of the key question, 'Is Russia to be an Orthodox country with religious minorities or a multi-confessional state?' It concludes that Russian society's continuing failure to reach a consensus on the role of religion in public life is destabilising the nation.

Monasticism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Republics

Author: Ines Angeli Murzaku

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317391047

Category: Social Science

Page: 418

View: 2742

This book looks at Eastern and Western monasticism’s continuous and intensive interactions with society in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Former Soviet Republics. It discusses the role monastics played in fostering national identities, as well as the potentiality of monasteries and religious orders to be vehicles of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue within and beyond national boundaries. Using a country-specific analysis, the book highlights the monastic tradition and monastic establishments. It addresses gaps in the academic study of religion in Eastern European and Russian historiography and looks at the role of monasticism as a cultural and national identity forming determinant in the region.

The Vernaculars of Communism

Language, Ideology and Power in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Author: Petre Petrov,Lara Ryazanova-Clarke

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317647475

Category: Social Science

Page: 230

View: 6454

The political revolutions which established state socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were accompanied by revolutions in the word, as the communist project implied not only remaking the world but also renaming it. As new institutions, social roles, rituals and behaviours emerged, so did language practices that designated, articulated and performed these phenomena. This book examines the use of communist language in the Stalinist and post-Stalinist periods. It goes beyond characterising this linguistic variety as crude "newspeak", showing how official language was much more complex – the medium through which important political-ideological messages were elaborated, transmitted and also contested, revealing contradictions, discursive cleavages and performative variations. The book examines the subject comparatively across a range of East European countries besides the Soviet Union, and draws on perspectives from a range of scholarly disciplines – sociolinguistics, anthropology, literary and cultural studies, historiography, and translation studies. Petre Petrov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Texas at Austin. Lara Ryazanova-Clarke is Head of Russian and Academic Director of the Princess Dashkova Russia Centre in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh.

Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union

Author: Galina M. Yemelianova

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113518285X

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 5343

This is the first comprehensive and comparative examination of Islamic radicalisation in the Muslim regions of the former Soviet Union since the end of Communism. Since the 1990s, the ex-Soviet Muslim Volga-Urals, Caucasus and Central Asia have been among the most volatile and dynamic zones of Islamic radicalisation in the Islamic East. Although partially driven by a wider Islamic resurgence which began in the late 1970s in the Middle East, the book argues that radicalisation is a post-Soviet phenomenon triggered by the collapse of Communism, and the break-up of the de facto unitary Soviet empire. The book considers the considerable differences in perceptions and manifestations of radical Islam in the republics, as well as the level of its doctrinal and political impact. It demonstrates how the particular histories of the regions’ Muslim peoples - especially the length and depth of their Islamisation - have influenced the nature and scope of their radicalisation. Other significant factors include the mobilising power of the global jihadist network, and most significantly the level of social and economic hardship. Based on extensive empirical research including interviews with leading members of the political and religious elite, the Islamist opposition as well as ordinary muslims, the book reveals how unofficial radical Islam has turned into a potent ideology of social mobilisation. It identifies the different dynamics at work and how these relate to each other, assesses the level of foreign involvement and evaluates the implications of the rise of Islamic radicalism for particular post-Soviet states, post-Soviet Eurasia and the wider international community.

Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries

Author: Greg Simons,David Westerlund

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317067150

Category: Political Science

Page: 234

View: 9298

The increasing significance and visibility of relationships between religion and public arenas and institutions following the fall of communism in Europe provide the core focus of this fascinating book. Leading international scholars consider the religious and political role of Christian Orthodoxy in the Russian Federation, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine alongside the revival of old, indigenous religions, often referred to as 'shamanistic' and look at how, despite Islam’s long history and many adherents in the south, Islamophobic attitudes have increasingly been added to traditional anti-Semitic, anti-Western or anti-liberal elements of Russian nationalism. Contrasts between the church’s position in the post-communist nation building process of secular Estonia with its role in predominantly Catholic Poland are also explored. Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries gives a broad overview of the political importance of religion in the Post-Soviet space but its interest and relevance extends far beyond the geographical focus, providing examples of the challenges in the spheres of public, religious and social policy for all transitional countries.

Religion, Nation and Democracy in the South Caucasus

Author: Alexander Agadjanian,Ansgar Jödicke,Evert van der Zweerde

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317691571

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 5864

This book explores developments in the three major societies of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – focusing especially on religion, historical traditions, national consciousness, and political culture, and on how these factors interact. It outlines how, despite close geographical interlacement, common historical memories and inherited structures, the three countries have deep differences; and it discusses how development in all three nations has differed significantly from the countries’ declared commitments to democratic orientation and European norms and values. The book also considers how external factors and international relations continue to impact on the three countries.

Disability in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union

History, policy and everyday life

Author: Michael Rasell,Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317962192

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 1504

There are over thirty million disabled people in Russia and Eastern Europe, yet their voices are rarely heard in scholarly studies of life and well-being in the region. This book brings together new research by internationally recognised local and non-native scholars in a range of countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It covers, historically, the origins of legacies that continue to affect well-being and policy in the region today. Discussions of disability in culture and society highlight the broader conditions in which disabled people must build their identities and well-being whilst in-depth biographical profiles outline what living with disabilities in the region is like. Chapters on policy interventions, including international influences, examine recent reforms and the difficulties of implementing inclusive, community-based care. The book will be of interest both to regional specialists, for whom well-being, equality and human rights are crucial concerns, and to scholars of disability and social policy internationally.

Paganism, Traditionalism, Nationalism

Narratives of Russian Rodnoverie

Author: Kaarina Aitamurto

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317084438

Category: Religion

Page: 222

View: 3412

Rodnoverie was one of the first new religious movements to emerge following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its development providing an important lens through which to view changes in post-Soviet religious and political life. Rodnovers view social and political issues as inseparably linked to their religiosity but do not reflect the liberal values dominant among Western Pagans. Indeed, among the conservative and nationalist movements often associated with Rodnoverie in Russia, traditional anti-Western and anti-Semitic rhetoric has recently been overshadowed by anti-Islam and anti-migrant tendencies. Providing a fascinating overview of the history, organisations, adherents, beliefs and practices of Rodnoverie this book presents several different narratives; as a revival of the native Russian or Slavic religion, as a nature religion and as an alternative to modern values and lifestyles. Drawing upon primary sources, documents and books this analysis is supplemented with extensive fieldwork carried out among Rodnoverie communities in Russia and will be of interest to scholars of post-Soviet society, new religious movements and contemporary Paganism in general.

Fragile Migration Rights

Freedom of movement in post-Soviet Russia

Author: Matthew Light

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 131763120X

Category: Social Science

Page: 238

View: 4532

The Soviet Union comprehensively governed the mobility of its citizens by barring emigration and strictly regulating internal migration. In the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, the constitution and laws of the new Russian Federation appeared to herald a complete break with the repressiveness of the previous government. Russian law now proclaims the right of Russian citizens and residents to move around their country freely. This book examines how and why this post-Soviet legal promise of internal freedom of movement has been undermined in practice by both federal and regional policies. It thereby adds a new dimension to scholarly understanding of the nature of rights, citizenship, and law enforcement in contemporary Russia. Most contemporary works focus on the attempts of developed Northern countries to regulate migration from the global South to the global North: here Matthew Light examines the restriction of migration within Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, providing a comprehensive view into an area rarely explored within migration scholarship. Fragile Migration Rights develops a comprehensive theoretical framework to analyse this complex subject. It is essential reading for students and academics from a range of disciplines including criminology, human rights, migration studies, and political science.

Federalism and Regional Policy in Contemporary Russia

Author: Andrey Starodubtsev

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317136144

Category: Political Science

Page: 188

View: 8397

How do Russian leaders balance the need to decentralize governance in a socially and politically complex country with the need to guarantee political control of the state? Since the early 2000s Russian federal authorities have arranged a system of political control on regional elites and their leaders, providing a "police control" of special bodies subordinated by the federal center on policy implementation in the regions. Different mechanisms of fiscal federalism and investment policy have been used to ensure regional elites’ loyalty and a politically centralized but administratively decentralized system has been created. Asking clear, direct, and theoretically informed questions about the relationship between federalism, decentralization and authoritarianism, this book explores the political survival of authoritarian leaders, the determinants of policy formulation, and theories of federalism and decentralization, to reach a new understanding of territorial governance in contemporary Russia. As such, it is an important work for students and researchers in Russian studies and regional and federal studies.

Digital Russia

The Language, Culture and Politics of New Media Communication

Author: Michael Gorham,Ingunn Lunde,Martin Paulsen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317810740

Category: Social Science

Page: 292

View: 6142

Digital Russia provides a comprehensive analysis of the ways in which new media technologies have shaped language and communication in contemporary Russia. It traces the development of the Russian-language internet, explores the evolution of web-based communication practices, showing how they have both shaped and been shaped by social, political, linguistic and literary realities, and examines online features and trends that are characteristic of, and in some cases specific to, the Russian-language internet.

Russian Nationalism and the National Reassertion of Russia

Author: Marlene Laruelle

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134013620

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 4649

Military action in South Ossetia, growing tensions with the United States and NATO, and Russia's relationship with the European Union demonstrate how the issue of Russian nationalism is increasingly at the heart of the international political agenda.This book considers a wide range of aspects of Russian nationalism, focussing on the Putin period. It discusses the development of Russian nationalism, including in the Soviet era, and examines how Russian nationalism grows out of – or is related to – ideology, culture, racism, religion and intellectual thinking, and demonstrates how Russian nationalism affects many aspects of Russian society, politics and foreign policy. This book examines the different socio-political phenomena which are variously defined as ‘nationalism’, ‘patriotism’ and ‘xenophobia’. As Russia reasserts itself in the world, with Russian nationalism as one of the key driving forces in this process, an understanding of Russian nationalism is essential for understanding the dynamics of contemporary international relations.

Popular Religion in Russia

'Double Belief' and the Making of an Academic Myth

Author: Stella Rock

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134369778

Category: Religion

Page: 248

View: 8159

This book dispels the widely-held view that paganism survived in Russia alongside Orthodox Christianity, demonstrating that 'double belief', dvoeverie, is in fact an academic myth. Scholars, citing the medieval origins of the term, have often portrayed Russian Christianity as uniquely muddied by paganism, with 'double-believing' Christians consciously or unconsciously preserving pagan traditions even into the twentieth century. This volume shows how the concept of dvoeverie arose with nineteenth-century scholars obsessed with the Russian 'folk' and was perpetuated as a propaganda tool in the Soviet period, colouring our perception of both popular faith in Russian and medieval Russian culture for over a century. It surveys the wide variety of uses of the term from the eleventh to the seventeenth century, and contrasts them to its use in modern historiography, concluding that our modern interpretation of dvoeverie would not have been recognized by medieval clerics, and that 'double-belief' is a modern academic construct. Furthermore, it offers a brief foray into medieval Orthodoxy via the mind of the believer, through the language and literature of the period.

Chinese Migrants in Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe

Author: Felix B. Chang,Sunnie T. Rucker-Chang

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136640606

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 5523

Much of the former Soviet bloc has become a destination for new Chinese migrants. Throughout Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Chinese migrants are engaged in entrepreneurial activities, primarily as petty merchants of consumer goods in unsteady economies. This book situates these migrants within the broader context of Chinese globalization and China’s economic "rise." It traces the origins of Chinese migration into the region, as well as the conditions that have allowed migrants to thrive. Furthermore, it discusses the perception that Chinese globalization is purely economic and explores the relationship among petty merchants, labourers and institutional investors. Finally, by examining the movement of China’s minorities into Central Asia, this book challenges the ethnic construct of new "Chinese" migration.

The Russian Orthodox Church and Human Rights

Author: Kristina Stoeckl

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317817907

Category: Social Science

Page: 158

View: 2231

This book examines the key 2008 publication of the Russian Orthodox Church on human dignity, freedom, and rights. It considers how the document was formed, charting the development over time of the Russian Orthodox Church's views on human rights. It analyzes the detail of the document, and assesses the practical and political impact inside the Church, at the national level and in the international arena. Overall, it shows how the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church has shifted from outright hostility towards individual human rights to the advocacy of "traditional values."

The Heritage of Soviet Oriental Studies

Author: Michael Kemper,Stephan Conermann

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136838546

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 2033

The Western field of oriental studies and orientalism - criticised by Edward Said among others for encouraging the orient to be viewed in a particular way - has a counterpart in Russia and the Soviet Union. This book examines this Russian/Soviet intellectual tradition of oriental scholarship covering Islamic history and Muslim literatures of the USSR republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Russia and Islam

State, Society and Radicalism

Author: Roland Dannreuther,Luke March

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136988998

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 991

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, both the Russian state and Russia's Muslim communities have struggled to find a new modus vivendi in a rapidly changing domestic and international socio-political context. At the same time as Islamic religious belief and practice have flourished, the state has become increasingly concerned about the security implications of this religious revival, reflecting and responding to a more general international concern over radicalised political Islam. This book examines contemporary developments in Russian politics, how they impact on Russia's Muslim communities, how these communities are helping to shape the Russian state, and what insights this provides to the nature and identity of the Russian state both in its inward and outward projection. The book provides an up-to-date and broad-ranging analysis of the opportunities and challenges confronting contemporary Muslim communities in Russia that is not confined in scope to Chechnya or the North Caucasus, and which goes beyond simplistic characterisations of Muslims as a 'threat'. Instead, it engages with the role of political Islam in Russia in a nuanced way, sensitive to regional and confessional differences, highlighting Islam's impact on domestic and foreign policy and investigating sources of both radicalisation and de-radicalisation.

The Post-Soviet Russian Orthodox Church

Politics, Culture and Greater Russia

Author: Katja Richters

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415669332

Category: Social Science

Page: 212

View: 9524

In recent years, the Russian Orthodox Church has become a more prominent part of post-Soviet Russia. A number of assumptions exist regarding the Church’s relationship with the Russian state: that the Church has always been dominated by Russia’s secular elites; that the clerics have not sufficiently fought this domination and occasionally failed to act in the Church’s best interest; and that the Church was turned into a Soviet institution during the twentieth century. This book challenges these assumptions. It demonstrates that church-state relations in post-communist Russia can be seen in a much more differentiated way, and that the church is not subservient, very much having its own agenda. Yet at the same time it is sharing the state’s, and Russian society’s nationalist vision. The book analyses the Russian Orthodox Church’s political culture, focusing on the Putin and Medvedev eras from 2000. It examines the upper echelons of the Moscow Patriarchate in relation to the governing elite and to Russian public opinion, explores the role of the church in the formation of state religious policy, and the church’s role within the Russian military. It discusses how the Moscow Patriarchate is asserting itself in former Soviet republics outside Russia, especially in Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus. It concludes by re-emphasising that, although the church often mirrors the Kremlin’s political preferences, it most definitely acts independently.

Russian Cultural Anthropology After the Collapse of Communism

Author: A. K. Baĭburin,Catriona Kelly,Nikolai Vakhtin

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 041569504X

Category: Social Science

Page: 283

View: 7647

In Soviet times, anthropologists in the Soviet Union were closely involved in the state's work of nation building. They helped define official nationalities, and gathered material about traditional customs and suitably heroic folklore, whilst at the same time refraining from work on the reality of contemporary Soviet life. Since the end of the Soviet Union anthropology in Russia has been transformed. International research standards have been adopted, and the focus of research has shifted to include urban culture and difficult subjects, such as xenophobia. However, this transformation has been, and continues to be, controversial, with, for example, strongly contested debates about the relevance of Western anthropology and cultural theory to post-Soviet reality. This book presents an overview of how anthropology in Russia has changed since Soviet times, and showcases examples of important Russian anthropological work. As such, the book will be of great interest not just to Russian specialists, but also to anthropologists more widely, and to all those interested in the way academic study is related to prevailing political and social conditions.