Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies

Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies

Edited by Mark D. Steinberg and Catherine Wanner
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/13/2008
Format: Paperback 8 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-22038-7
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In the post-Soviet environment of expanded civil freedom with great everyday uncertainty, unhappiness, injustice, and suffering, religious organizations and beliefs in Russia and Eurasia face numerous opportunities and intense challenges. Based on recent research and interdisciplinary methodologies, this volume examines how religious organizations and individuals engage the changing and troubled environment in which they live. The contributions investigate not just Russian Orthodoxy, but also Old Belief, Judaism, Islam, Buriat shamanism, and Catholicism. Among the important questions considered are how religion addresses problems of charity, memory, justice, community, morality, nationalism, democracy, and civil liberties.

Author Bio

Mark D. Steinberg is Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor of Slavic Review. He is editor (with Heather J. Coleman) of Sacred Stories: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russia (IUP, 2007).

Catherine Wanner is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at the Pennsylvania State University and is author of Communities of the Converted: Ukrainians and Global Evangelism.


“The authors contribute fresh field, archival, and literature research, updating aspects of the nexus of religion and politics in the post-Soviet region. . . . The scholarship is impressive.”
 — Marjorie Balzer, Georgetown University

“The chapters in this volume represent the 'leading edge' of research in the field.”
 — Serhii Plokhii, University of Alberta

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Table of Contents

Introduction Reclaiming the Sacred After Communism

1. To Save the World or to Renounce It: Modes of Moral Action in Russian Orthodoxy
Scott M. Kenworthy

2. The Freezing of Historical Memory? The Post-Soviet Russian Orthodox Church and the Council of 1917
Irina Papkova

3. Aleksandra Vladimirovna: Moral Narratives of a Russian Orthodox Woman
Jarrett Zigon

4. Old Belief Between "Society" and "Culture": Remaking Moral Communities and Inequalities on a Former State Farm
Douglas Rogers

5. Communities of Mourning: Mountain Jewish Laments in Azerbaijan and on the Internet
Sascha Goluboff

6. Social Welfare and Christian Welfare: Who Gets Saved in Post-Soviet Russian Charity Work?
Melissa L. Caldwell

7. Shamanic Transformations: Buriat Shamans as Mediators of Multiple Worlds
Katherine Metzo

8. Fearing Islam in Uzbekistan: Islamic Tendencies, Extremist Violence, and Authoritarian Secularism
Russell Zanca

9. Religious Freedom in Russia: The Putin Years
Zoe Knox

10. Afterword: Policy Implications of the Research and Analysis

Further Reading