“Lived religion” in the USSR: variety of everyday practices
International Conference, 16-18 February, 2012, 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 Universit?t Bremen
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.
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 such as the two World Wars, Revolution, social purges and mass terror, ideological indoctrination, dismantling of traditional institutions, urbanization, etc..
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 impact of repressive government policies on shaping religious practices; religions’ responses to pressure and communicative breaks by inventing new forms and/or reproducing the old culture codes.
· The movements of religious reform of the early 20th century and its impact in the religious practices of the Soviet period.
· Typology and analysis of religious subcultures and niches emerged in the Soviet Union; exploring “popular”, “elite”, “official”, and “alternative” religiosity.
· Conformist, adaptive, protest and other types of responses in religious life.
· Transformation of the sacred space under repressive policies: temples, sacred places/objects, their worship and their suppression.
· Forms of religious communities: islands of religious freedom or reproduction of the Soviet authoritarian practices?
· 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?
· Theoretical understanding of the meaning and real scope of secularization within Soviet “modernity project.” What happened to religion: crisis, marginality, preservation in closed subcultures, or transformation and reappearance in other forms?
· 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 1st, 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.