Religion and Language in Post Soviet Russia

Author: Brian P. Bennett
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136736131
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Church Slavonic, one of the world’s historic sacred languages, has experienced a revival in post-Soviet Russia. Blending religious studies and sociolinguistics, this book looks at Church Slavonic in the contemporary period. It uses Slavonic in order to analyse a number of 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.

Believing in Russia

Author: Geraldine Fagan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415490022
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Radical Islam in the Former Soviet Union

Author: Galina M. Yemelianova
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 113518285X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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 Nation and Democracy in the South Caucasus

Author: Alexander Agadjanian
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317691571
Format: PDF
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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.

The Vernaculars of Communism

Author: Petre Petrov
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317647483
Format: PDF
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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.

Paganism Traditionalism Nationalism

Author: Kaarina Aitamurto
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317084438
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

The Post Soviet Russian Orthodox Church

Author: Katja Richters
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415669332
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

The Russian Orthodox Church and Human Rights

Author: Kristina Stoeckl
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317817915
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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."

Popular Religion in Russia

Author: Stella Rock
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134369778
Format: PDF
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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.

Religion Politics and Nation Building in Post Communist Countries

Author: Greg Simons
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317067150
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.