“Lived religion” in the USSR: survival and resistance
under forced secularization
International Conference, 16-18 February, Moscow
Call for Papers
Organizers: Center for the Study of Religion, Russian State University for the Humanities; Center of the Religious and Church History, Institute of Universal History, Russian Academy of Sciences; Forschungsstelle Osteuropa an der Universität Bremen; Centre d’études franco-russe de Moscou
Since two last decades there have been many studies in the history of religious policies and Church-State relations in the Soviet Union; the massive archival material has been revealed and explored. There have been much fewer research on “lived religion,” religious practices, and everyday religiosity throughout the seventy-plus years of the communist rule. This conference will address these issues.
The conference will cover the entire Soviet period and all religious traditions.
We understand “lived religion,” “everyday religious practices” as including the sum total of religion-bound experiences, ideas and social behavior; both within and outside the frame allowed by the political regime; both formal and informal religiosity; both collective and individual forms.
The central problem of the conference will be theoretical understanding of the content and real dimensions of secularization within the Soviet “modernity project:” What happened to religion: crisis, marginality, preservation in closed subcultures, or transformation and reappearance in other forms? To what extent all these processes were part of a “universal “secularization trend” or were they rather results of the repressive policies?
To confront this issue, we will explore how social, economic and political settings, in their historical dynamic, impacted everyday religiosity; how the evolution of religion co-related with milestone historical events and processes of the Soviet history.
The conference will also explore issues of relevant research methods; creating a set of appropriate theoretical categories; and defining chronological sub-periods within the Soviet history.
Here follows a tentative list of issues to be addressed:
• The movements of religious reform/renovation of the early 20th century and its impact in religious practices of the Soviet period.
• The impact of repressive government policies on shaping religious practices; religious responses: eschatological reactions; creating new forms of survival, reproducing old traditions, etc.
• Conformist, adaptive, protest and other types of responses to “Soviet modernity.”
• Typology and analysis of religious subcultures and niches emerged in the Soviet Union; exploring “popular”, “elite”, “official”, and “alternative” religiosity.
• Transformation of the sacred space under repressive policies: temples, sacred places/objects, their worship and their suppression.
• Urban and rural religious practices; urbanization as a factor of religious change.
• Practices at the inter-religious borders: preserving identity, growing tensions, and/or inevitable interaction and alliances?
• Consequences of the Soviet religious experience in the post-Soviet societies.
The conference is planned for February 16-18, 2012, in Moscow, at the Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU). Paper proposals must include name, affiliation, title and an abstract of no more than 200 words. The applications should be sent no later than October 15th, 2011 at the email: Religion.USSR@gmail.com.
Organizing committee of the conference: Nikolai Shaburov, Nadezhda Beliakova, Ludmila Zhukova, Peter Chistiakov, Ksenia Sergazina, Nikolai Mitrokhin, and Alexander Agadjanian. Contact us by above email or by phone at the Center for the Studies of Religion, RGGU: 7-499-2506340.
Center for the Studies of Religion
Russian State University for the Humanities
6, Miusskaia Sq.
Moscow, Russia Email: email@example.com
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