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Emotions and Authority in Religious Organisations

The Case of a New Prayer Group in Contemporary Transcarpathia

Agnieszka Halemba

This article reflects on the place of emotionally arousing ex- periences within religious organisations. Using data obtained through participant observation and interviews, it outlines a research approach for investigations of the interrelationships between particular features of religious practices. Those features have been pointed out in many previous anthropo- logical and sociological works, but few works attempted to analyse connections and interdependencies between con- crete features of religious traditions. The present article takes inspiration from contemporary 'modes of religiosity' theory to explore further the relationships between highly emotion- ally arousing religious experiences and centralised religious authority. Going beyond Whitehouse's theory, it is argued that centralised religious organisations can influence the so- cial features of a religious movement through management of emotionality in ritual practice.

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Introduction

The Black Sea as region and horizon

Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaja

The introduction first outlines different perspectives on the Black Sea: in history, as a site of imperial conflicts and a buffer zone; in area studies, as a “region”; and in anthropology, as a sea crisscrossed by migration, cultural influences, alternative visions, and often a mutual turning of backs. We then discuss the Black Sea in the context of maritime ethnography and the study of ports, “hero cities”, pipelines, and political crises. The following sections consider Smith's notion of the “territorialization of memory” in relation to histories of exile and the more recent interactions brought about by migration and trade. In the concluding section we discuss how the Black Sea has appeared as a “horizon” and imaginary of the beyond for the peoples living around its shores.

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The Search for Politanky

A Hidden Holocaust Refuge in Transnistria

Carol Simon Elias

As the child of Holocaust survivors, I had thought that after more than seventy-five years little else could be learnt. But I was wrong. After my second journey to Ukraine and Transnistria in order to discover how my family had survived when hundreds of thousands of Jews had perished, I realized just how much so. Bukovina’s Jews from Romania, Ukraine and Bessarabia had faced horrific pogroms, forced evacuations and death marches, and had then crossed the Dniester River into Transnistria. These are lesser known topics in Holocaust history. Of the 450,000 Jews sent there, approximately 250,000 died, not by guns, gas or ovens but through thirst, starvation, disease and bullet-free mass murders carried out by the Nazis and their Romanian allies. Transnistria’s Holocaust history must be visited and revised. We owe it to the survivors, ourselves, our children and to history itself, before altering what has been written, or not, becomes impossible.

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Stephen F. Szabo

Germany has become a geo-economic power since its unification in 1990. Its foreign policy agenda has been shaped by its economic interests and the role of its export sector. Nevertheless, Russian actions in Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe combined with the accession of the Trump Administration in the United States and the rise of China have resulted in a transition in the foreign policy paradigm toward Germany as a shaping power and more of a geopolitical actor which has to balance its economic interests with the new strategic challenges of a newly unstable Europe.

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Trading places

Post-socialist container markets and the city

Caroline Humphrey and Vera Skvirskaja

This article discusses a vast, new and semi-legal marketplace of shipping containers on the outskirts of Odessa, Ukraine. It is suggested that such markets, which have sprung up at several places in post-socialist space where routes intersect, have certain features in common with mediaeval trade fairs. However, today's markets have their own specificities in relation to state and legal regimes, migration, and the cities to which they are semi-attached. The article analyzes the Seventh Kilometer Market (Sed'moi) near Odessa as a particular socio-mythical space. It affords it own kind of protection and opportunities to traders, but these structures may be unstable in a changing economic climate.

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Andrey Vozyanov

Crises in urban electric transport infrastructure of Eastern and Southeastern Europe present not only a fruitful subject for historical, ethnographic, and sociological inquiry, but also contribute to two intersecting knowledge fields. First, to the multidisciplinary constellation of studies dedicated to failures of sociotechnical systems that I will refer to as disaster and crisis studies. And second, to social studies of urban transit in the former Socialist Bloc, a subfield within broader mobility and transport studies. In this text I will review the state of both these fields and then proceed to conceptualize the intersections between them, proposing historical anthropology as an integration tool. In the process I will occasionally refer to my fieldwork in Donbas, Ukraine, from 2011 to 2013, and eastern Romania since 2015.

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Francisca de Haan

The year 2010 marked the centennial of International Women’s Day (IWD); the year 2011 marked the centennial of its first celebrations, which took place in Austria, Denmark, Germany, partitioned Poland, Switzerland, and no doubt other places. Inspired by these events, the theme section of this volume deals with “A Hundred Years of International Women’s Day in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe,” with articles focusing on Russia, the Polish lands, and Greece. In addition, we review the book Frauentag! (Women’s Day!), a collection of essays that accompanied an exhibition in Vienna on the occasion of IWD’s first centennial; and the News and Miscellanea section features a report on recent IWD-related events in Ukraine, including two exhibitions.

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Norman Solomon

Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972) hailed from a Hasidic family which numbered among its members the Rebbe of Apt, after whom he was named, and the Maggid (Preacher) of Mezhirichi (Mezhirech, in Volhynia, Ukraine), a prominent Hasidic leader in the generation following the Baal Shem Tov.1 The Judaism he first knew and mastered in his native Poland was that of Talmud, Kabbala and Bible as read and as lived in the Hasidic tradition. Throughout his life he retained the sense of the constant presence of God and of the holiness of creation which he had imbibed in the intense, inwardlooking world of his youth, and he sought to capture its spirit for posterity in works such as The Earth is the Lord’s and A Passion for Truth (his comparative spiritual biography of the Kotzker Rebbe and the Protestant theologian Søren Kierkegaard).

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Larissa Titarenko

There is a stereotype that such former Soviet republics as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are totally Orthodox. However, this statement is not entirely correct, as part of the population in these countries belong to many different churches, while a large part have rather eclectic religious and para-religious beliefs. In the case of Belarus, a major part of the population belongs to two Christian confessions, Orthodox and Catholic, while many other confessions and new religious movements also exist. Religious pluralism is a practical reality in Belarus which has the reputation of the most religiously tolerant post-Soviet country. Contemporary laws provide the legal basis for the tolerant relations in the country, and there is a historical tradition of religious tolerance in Belarus. Research data from the EVS studies and national surveys are used.

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Border/land Sustainability

Communities at the External Border of the European Union

Karri Kiiskinen

This article contrasts the Finnish-Russian and Polish-Ukrainian borderlands situated at the external border of the EU. Based on multi-sited fieldwork, it observes how such EU level development concepts as sustainability and multiculturalism address cultural sharing as well as engage communities. Here everyday border crossings are limited, but the policies and practices of cross-border co-operation seek to produce sustainable border crossings in terms of projects and networking. The negotiations of the EU border by local Polish and Finnish actors reflect co-existing and alternative imaginations of borderland heritage. These heritages seem to suggest the 'right' ways not only for border crossings, but also for addressing the continuity and experience of cultural diversity. It is argued that recollections of borderland materiality in these ceded lands become a means for negotiating cultural borders, and verify the difference between European borderlands and borders.