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Ritual and commemoration in contemporary Russia

State-church relationships and the vernacularization of the politics of memory

Tobias Köllner

Since state atheism was abandoned in the 1990s, the Russian Federation entered what can be called a postsecular phase. Religion, formerly limited to the private sphere, reappeared in the public and underwent an astonishing religious revival. During the time of my fieldwork in 2006/2007, a tendency to favor the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and to facilitate its return to the public reached its climax. In this article I draw attention to how the political, the secular, and the religious are interconnected and allow for new vernacular forms of legitimating power and authority. One example is the introduction of new public holidays and public rituals. They connect local and national narratives and relate to ideas about the communality of the Russian people. They create new forms of a divine kinship, which draw heavily on religious and national symbols and merge the sacred and the profane.

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Francisco Martínez, Eva-Maria Walther, Anita Agostini, José Muñoz-Albaladejo, Máiréad Nic Craith, Agata Rejowska and Tobias Köllner

Andreas Bandak and Manpreet Janeja (eds) (2018), Ethnographies of Waiting: Doubt, Hope and Uncertainty (London: Bloomsbury), 232 pp., €90.46. ISBN 9781474280280.

Liene Ozoliņa (2019), Politics of Waiting: Workfare, Post-Soviet Austerity and the Ethics of Freedom (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 160 pp., £80. ISBN 9781526126252.

Giulia Evolvi (2018), Blogging My Religion: Secular, Muslim, and Catholic Media Spaces in Europe (London and New York: Routledge), 174 pp., £110, ISBN 9781138562110.

Valdimar Tr. Hafstein (2018), Making Intangible Heritage: El Condor Pasa and Other Stories from UNESCO (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), 204 pp., $75.00, ISBN9780253037923.

Valdimar Tr. Hafstein and Áslaug Einarsdóttir, directors and producers (2018), The Flight of the Condor: A Letter, a Song and the Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage, 30 min., available online: http://flightofthecondorfilm.com (accessed 22 July 2019).

Morton Nielsen and Nigel Rapport (eds) (2017), The Composition of Anthropology: How Anthropological Texts Are Written (London: Routledge), 202 pp., Pb £25.99, ISBN 9781138208117.

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