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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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The Case for Religious Transmission

Time and Transmission in the Anthropology of Christianity

Vlad Naumescu

Acknowledging the growing interest in issues of religious transmission, this article reviews two promising yet contradictory approaches to religion that could be described as historicist and universalist. It offers an alternative view premised on their convergence in a pragmatic approach that can link the material, contextual, and institutional dimensions of transmission with corresponding cognitive, perceptive, and emotional processes. This perspective recognizes the historicity of religious transmission and its cognitive underpinnings while attending to the materiality of its semiotic forms. The article focuses on the relationship between time and transmission in recent ethnographies of Christianity that show how Christian temporalities influence perceptions of social continuity or rupture and individuals' becoming in history. Within this frame, it examines the case of Old Believers, an apocalyptic movement that emerged out of a schism in seventeenth-century Russian Orthodoxy, to indicate how a pragmatic approach works in practice.

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

, beggars, Sunday school teachers, librarians and accountants. Tocheva's focus contributes substantially to our understanding of post-Soviet Russian Orthodoxy in its relation to society and to everyday life in contemporary Russia. Nevertheless, it would be

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Winnifred Fallers Sullivan

sacrilegious transgression of the sacred space of Russian Orthodoxy, but as the violation of a civic space of a certain Russian nationalism, one that in many ways is quite secular. The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour is not a diocesan church but a monument

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Alessandro Testa, Tobias Köllner, Agata Ładykowska, Simion Pop, Giuseppe Tateo, Jason Baird Jackson, Ullrich Kockel, Mairéad Nic Craith, and Viola Teisenhoffer

influential group inside Russian Orthodoxy with great importance for society and the resurgence of religion in contemporary Russia. In the analysis, the author gives considerable ethnographic insights and individual narratives, which provide evidence for the

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How the Bible Works

Russian Baptist Faith as Text

Igor Mikeshin

for a few ‘traditional’ forms of religion, particularly Russian Orthodoxy because of the “special role of the Orthodox Church in the history of Russia” ( Russian Federal Law 1997 ). However, researchers on Russian religiosity point out that the idea of

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Sacred Spaces and Civic Action

Topographies of Pluralism in Russia

Melissa L. Caldwell

recognition that Russian Orthodoxy “retains the idea … that the church is not a public building … but that it is the body of Christ and a theandric organism (both God and human united).” Consequently, for some observers, Pussy Riot's explicitly political

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Ambiguous Attachments and Industrious Nostalgias

Heritage Narratives of Russian Old Believers in Romania

Cristina Clopot

struggles are rooted in the schism that took place in the seventeenth century in the Russian Orthodox Church, following the 1654 Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. The schism resulted from a process of realigning Russian Orthodoxy of the time with

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Tatiana Vagramenko

promoting both Russian Orthodoxy and traditional Nenets customs and beliefs along with sacred sites and ritual practices as a foundation of Nenets social order, the rural Nenets often eagerly embraced the Evangelical missionary message, challenging