Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies

Overview

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,...

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Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies

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Overview

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.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
WASHINGTON—Woodrow Wilson Center Press has published a new book, Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies, edited by Mark D. Steinberg and Catherine Wanner. It is copublished with Indiana University Press.

In the post-Soviet environment of expanded civil freedom, there is still great everyday uncertainty, unhappiness, injustice, and suffering, and 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.

"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

Mark D. Steinberg is Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor of Slavic Review. Catherine Wanner is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.WILSON QUARTERLY, October 27, 2008

Wilson Quarterly
WASHINGTON—Woodrow Wilson Center Press has published a new book, Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies, edited by Mark D. Steinberg and Catherine Wanner. It is copublished with Indiana University Press.

In the post-Soviet environment of expanded civil freedom, there is still great everyday uncertainty, unhappiness, injustice, and suffering, and 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.

"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

Mark D. Steinberg is Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor of Slavic Review. Catherine Wanner is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.WILSON QUARTERLY, October 27, 2008

Missiology: International Review
"The essays are sympathetic and insightful analyses, from the perspectives of their disciplines. One can learn... about the role of religion in shaping the ethos of societies where the dominant ideology has broken down." —MISSIOLOGY: Intnl Review, #41 April 2009
Europe-Asia Studies
"Each of the contributions provides interesting reading and a vivid description of religion and morality in post-Soviet transition, through the prism of Soviet legacies (state atheism and Soviet modernity), transition to capitalism, expansive nationalism and increased globalisation." —ALEXANDER TYMCZUK, University of Oslo, Europe - Asia Studies, Volume 62.1 Jan. 2010

— ALEXANDER TYMCZUK, University of Oslo

Seer
"[T]his volume makes a very timely and well researched contribution to the discussion of religion and politics in the former Soviet Union." —SEER
Marjorie Balzer

"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

Serhii Plokhii

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

WILSON QUARTERLY

WASHINGTON—Woodrow Wilson Center Press has published a new book, Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies, edited by Mark D. Steinberg and Catherine Wanner. It is copublished with Indiana University Press.

In the post-Soviet environment of expanded civil freedom, there is still great everyday uncertainty, unhappiness, injustice, and suffering, and 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.

"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

Mark D. Steinberg is Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor of Slavic Review. Catherine Wanner is Associate Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.WILSON QUARTERLY, October 27, 2008

MISSIOLOGY: Intnl Review

"The essays are sympathetic and insightful analyses, from the perspectives of their disciplines. One can learn... about the role of religion in shaping the ethos of societies where the dominant ideology has broken down." —MISSIOLOGY: Intnl Review, #41 April 2009

Europe - Asia Studies - ALEXANDER TYMCZUK

"Each of the contributions provides interesting reading and a vivid description of religion and morality in post-Soviet transition, through the prism of Soviet legacies (state atheism and Soviet modernity), transition to capitalism, expansive nationalism and increased globalisation." —ALEXANDER TYMCZUK, University of Oslo, Europe - Asia Studies, Volume 62.1 Jan. 2010

SEER

"[T]his volume makes a very timely and well researched contribution to the discussion of religion and politics in the former Soviet Union." —SEER

Slavic Review

"I regard the book as a highly important contribution to postsocialist studies and, due to its impressive comparative range, to the anthropology of religion as well, and it engages with a topic that is of paramount importance for understanding Russia, past and present." —Slavic Review, Spring 2010

The Russian Review

"Social scientists have been devoting more attention to the topic of religion in recent years, and this volume represents an important interdisciplinary contribution to this area of study.... [The essays] present a variety of thoughtfully researched and illuminating stories about the ways that religion is embedded into social life in the former Soviet Union." —The Russian Review, Vol. 69.2f

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253220387
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/2008
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 1,210,504
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Indiana University Press

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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

Indiana University Press

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