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Журнальный клуб Интелрос » ГОСУДАРСТВО РЕЛИГИЯ ЦЕРКОВЬ » №3-4, 2012

Summaries
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The Theme of the Issue: Religious Practices in the USSR
Section I. The Evolution of Key Practices
Nadieszda Kizenko. Eastern Orthodox Confession in the Soviet Period .  .  .  . 10
This article traces changes in the practice of sacramental confession in the Soviet
period, from 1917 to 1991. The combination of secularizing pressures, church
closures, and fewer priests, meant that the routine, institutionalized aspect of
confession before 1917, which had made individual confession something familiar
to the average Orthodox Christian believer, vanished, replaced in most cases by
the general confession. On the other hand, for religious “virtuosi,” confession
became a more central element of religious life. The enthusiastic revival of
individual confession in Russia after 1991 suggests that the changes during the
Soviet period served as a kind of trial period for some forms of confession that
were more similar to those of other traditions, only to have them rejected in
favor of returning to precisely what had distinguished prerevolutionary imperial
practice (and Roman Catholic practice before Vatican II): the linkage between
individual confession and partaking of communion. Perhaps the surprising thing
is not how much the practice of confession changed during the Soviet period in
response to secularizing pressures, but rather how little.
Keywords: confession, seal of confession, sins, penance, Soviet Union, priests,
Revolution.


Aleksey Beglov. Taking the Holy Communion in Soviet Era: Practices of the
Russian Orthodox Laity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
The paper uses the method of historical anthropology to look at the evolution
of the practice of the Holy Communion in the Russian Orthodox Church during
the Soviet era. The author shows that the frequency of individual communion
increased in 5-10 times comparing to the pre-Revolutionary period when it
was usually practiced no more than once a year. Such an evolution can be
explained by three reasons, in fact, processes: an “emancipation” of the ritual
from functions related to state control; the believers’ sense of existential fragility
and insecurity under the Soviet regime, which made the Eucharist perceived as
a pre-death farewell; and the blurring of the boundaries between a more intense
monastic and ordinary lay practices.
Keywords: religious practices, history of everyday life, historical anthropology,
Russian Orthodox Church in 20th century, practice of Holy Communion,
normative texts and practices, monasticism.

 

Galina Zelenina. “The Whole Life with Books”: the Soviet Jewry’s Journey
from the Bible to the Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Based on the extensive collection of interviews with Soviet, mostly Ukrainian,
Jews born before World War II, the essay examines changes in their reading
experience and reading priorities from Bible-centered religious booklore to
kulturnost’ — a broad bookish culture of the Soviet intelligentsia.
Keywords: USSR, Judaism, Jews, Bible, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, World War
II, oral history, libraries, cheder.


Section II. Pre-war Period: Dynamics of Repressions and their
Results
Gregory Freeze. “All Power to the Parish!” An Orthodox Revival
in 1920-s .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 86
Existing scholarship on Russian Orthodoxy during the Soviet era has tended to
focus on high politics, the Church (as an institution), and the clergy (especially
the hierarchy). It is important, however, to shift the focus to the parish and laity,
to whom the Bolsheviks (through the famous decree of 1918) gave full power
over the local church and religious life. Focusing on Ukraine in the 1920s, this
article examines the impact of Bolshevik policy on the parish, from the social
revolution in the clergy to the religious revival of the 1920s—which, in turn,
triggered the “velikii perelom” in religious policy in 1929.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, antireligious policy in 1920-s, parish,
priests, laity, religious revival in Ukraine.


Tatiana Chumakova. The Map of Religions for the Failed 1937 Census:
a Forgotten Page of Religious Studies in the USSR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
The author explores the preparations for the Soviet 1937 census. (The results
of this census were famously cancelled by the authorities for reasons of alleged
falsification, and people involved were subsequently persecuted). In this
census, for the first time in Soviet history, the question was included about the
respondents’ religious affiliation. In this connection, a special reference book has
been created that covered the full list of religions in the USSR. The reference
book described in detail various religious groups; in fact, the researchers created
a comprehensive “map” of religions existing on Soviet territory. This “map”
allows us to get an idea of religious diversity in the mid-1920s., when the data
was mostly collected. The Addendum to the paper contains the full “Systematic
Index of Beliefs (Religions).”
Keywords: history of religion, the census of 1937, religion in the USSR,
religious studies in the USSR.

Andrey Berman. The Princess Olga from Chuvashia: Imposture as a Religious
Practice .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  14
The purpose of this paper is to introduce new data on the phenomenon of
imposture in Chuvashia in 1920s-1930s. The paper draws upon the evidences
form the local NKVD archives. Aleksandra Saratova, who claimed to be Olga,
a daughter of the last Russian Tsar Nicolas II, was arrested in Chuvashia;
later she and a few other people were executed. The investigation proved her
close connections with the movement of True Orthodox Christians — istinnopravoslavnykh
khristian — an underground religious network strongly opposed
to collectivization and the Soviet power in general. The paper tries to explain the
resurgence of the phenomenon of imposture in the aftermath of the Revolution.
Keywords: history of the USSR, Russian Orthodox Church, Chuvash
Republic, imposture, legends about the Tsar-redeemer, underground religious
communities, Aleksandra Saratova, Nicolas II, Olga Romanoff.


Nadezhda Makarova. “The City without Churches”: Religiosity in Magnitogorsk
in 1930-s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
The paper explores religiosity in a newly built Soviet city of Magnitogorsk. The
author finds out that in spite of official antireligious policies and the declarative
goal to create a “city without churches”, the population continued religious
practices. The way religiosity was officially controlled and measured — by the
number of churches, visible religious attributes, and open rituals — helped
create a relatively calm life for believers with their “invisible” practices.
Keywords: Magnitogorsk, USSR, antireligious policies, religious practices.


Anna Kalinina. Christian Denominations in Soviet Byelorussia in 1929–1939:
Active and Passive Forms of Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
The author presents a detailed analysis of the reactions of believers in Belorussia
to the official religious policies in the 1930s; their reactions are examined
through the lens of the “history of everyday life” approach. The main sources
were collections of the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, fund #4p
“Central Committee of the Communist Bolshevik Party of Belorussia, 1917-1941.”
Keywords: Eastern Orthodox Church, antireligious policy in the USSR,
Belorussia, history of everyday life, active and passive resistance, “letters of
happiness.”
Section III. Post-war Period: New Forms, Reactions and Influences
Elena Shungina. The Restitution of Church Buildings in Leningrad Diocese
in Postwar Decade: an Analysis of Believers’ Petitions .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 204
The paper deals with the reopening of Russian Orthodox churches after the
changes of religious policy in post-war Leningrad diocese. The author draws
upon the petitions written by the believers and submitted to various state
agencies where they provided arguments for the re-introduction of liturgical
services and parish life. The data is taken from the material in various local and
central archives.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church in post-war Soviet Union, the reopening
of the churches, petitions of believers, Leningrad.


Ulrike Huhn. With Icons and Psalms, or a Bishop in Flight from his Flock.
Mass Pilgrimages in Russia in the Times of Stalin and Khrushchev .  .  .  .  .  .  . 232
Pilgrimages to monasteries or other holy places were a traditional religious
practice among Orthodox believers up to 1917. Despite the Soviet government’s
proclamation of state atheism, it was only with the mass terror in the 1930s
that these practices disappeared. Yet in the context of World War II and
Stalin’s following policy change towards religions, believers felt encouraged to
practice the pilgrimage again. This article examines a pilgrimage to the famous
monastery called “Rooted solitude” (Korennaia pustyn’) by the city of Kursk
(Central Russia). From 1944 onwards until the new antireligious campaigns
under Nikita Khrushchev in 1958/59, these processions attracted up to 20 000
pilgrims each year. Yet pilgrimages of this period differed from those practiced in
pre-revolutionary times: the prominent icon of ‘Our Lady of Kursk’ (Bogomater’
Kurskaia Korennaja) was taken abroad in 1920 and the monastery was closed.
‘Holy spring’ nearby was chosen by the people as its substitute. In its struggle
against such ‘occurrences of superstition’ the regime relied on the church
hierarchy prohibiting the clergy to participate in the procession or any open
air prayer sessions. Hence, the local bishop of Kursk was stuck in the dilemma
between abandoning an important Orthodox tradition and open denial of the
state instructions. This paper will analyze the bishop’s decisions as well as
reactions of the laypeople.
Keywords: holy places, miracle-working icon, pilgrimage, antireligious policy,
clergy, laity.


Aleksey Glushaev. “With no Preachers, at the Corner of Barracks…”
Protestant “Barrack Communities” in Perm’-Kama Region in 1940–1950-s . . . 257
This paper looks into the emergence and existence of protestant groups in towns
and workers’ settlements of western Urals region in 1940-1960s. The everyday
circumstances of local residents and migrants led to the formation of what we
can call “barracks communities” of believers. The exiled “special settlers” sent
to this area were adapting to the situation and created modes of consolidation
in an alien environment. The author believes that these Baptist and Mennonite
communities tended to serve as substitution for the lacking established
Protestant institutions. However, specific religious practices, cultivated within
these groups, and their conscious self-isolation led to archaic forms of cultural
life and to growing conflicts with the social environment.
Keywords: workers’ settlements, barracks communities, special settlers,
Evangelical Baptist Christians, Mennonites, antireligious propaganda.


Nadezhda Beliakova. Collective Practices of a Typical Community
of the Evangelical Baptists in Late USSR .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 284
The paper deals with the community life of the Baptist Church in the USSR,
their composition, institutional structure and membership, liturgical life, legal
status and “illegal” activities with underground prayer meetings, educational and
publishing efforts, religious weddings, etc. The paper describes youth groups and
their ambivalent relations with elder generations of believers; the role of women
in community life. Some direct protests against curtailing religious liberty are
also shown. The paper draws upon archival material and interviews.
Keywords: Evangelical Baptists, Protestants, religious community, religious
literature, youth groups, women in Protestant communities, oppressions against
freedom of religion in the USSR.


Yulia Guseva. “Female Mullah”? Women’s Roles in Muslim Religious
Practices of Middle Volga Region during the War and Postwar Period .  .  .  .  .  .  315
The paper deals with role of women in everyday religious practices of the Muslim
communities of the Middle Volga region during the war and immediate post-war
period. The author explores the combination of traditional and new practices
and explains them through the evolution of gender relations in rural society of
Tatar Muslims.
Keywords: Islam, female Muslim, history of Islam in Russia, modernization
of Islam, Middle Volga region, World War II and post-war history of the USSR.


Sanami Takahashi. Two Types of Religiosity in the Times of the
Late Socialism: Eastern Orthodox Believers in Vladimir Region .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 328
Using the example of the Vladimir city and surrounding oblast’, the author shows
in this paper the real correlation of antireligious policy and lived religiosity in the
late Soviet period. There are two opposing modes of such policy: on the one hand,
the control over the Church hierarchy and its instrumentalization in promotion
of the Russian cultural heritage, and, on the other hand, the persecution of lived
spontaneous religiosity, such as the veneration of local “holy places.”
Keywords: USSR, Russian Orthodox Church, state atheism, the “holy places”,
lived religion, popular religious practices.


Sergey Zhuk. Religious Practices, Everyday Religiosity and Western Mass
Culture in the Closed City of Dniepropetrovsk in
Post-Stalin Era (1960–1984) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 349
Part of a larger research project about Soviet cultural consumption and identity
formation, this article explores the connection between religious practices and
western mass culture in the industrial city of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, in the
late socialist period. The Committee of State Security closed Dnepropetrovsk
to foreigners in 1959 when one of the Soviet Union’s biggest missile factories
opened there. Because of its “closed” nature, Dnepropetrovsk became a unique
Soviet social and cultural laboratory where various patterns of late socialism
collided with new Western cultural influences. The closed city of Dnepropetrovsk
can be seen as a microcosm of Soviet society as a whole. Drawing from a wide
variety of sources, including archival documents, periodicals, personal diaries
and interviews, this article demonstrates how popular fascination for Western
rock music, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, spurred
interest in Christianity. Local Protestant and Orthodox church leaders skillfully
promoted such interest, even as the Party bosses tried to quash it. This study
stands as a reminder of the continued draw of Christianity in Orthodoxy’s
heartland—even through alternative, modernizing media—despite the official
promotion of atheism.
Keywords: religious practices, mass culture, youth culture, personal
identification, Baptists, Adventists, Krishna Consciousness, Dnepropetrovsk,
Ukraine.
Section IV. Religion vs. Atheism: Two Systems of Meaning and Ritual


Natalia Shkikhta. “From Tradition to Modernity”: Orthodox Rituals
and Celebrations during the Antireligious Campaign in Ukraine,
1950-s – 1960-s .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 380
The paper explores some transformations in Russian Orthodox ritual practices
both during the Khrushchev antireligious campaign and in its aftermath; it draws
on the Ukrainian material. The article examines illegal rituals, modifications of
traditional life-cycle rituals, “lay services”, and organizational changes introduced
into major church celebrations. Drawing on vast archival material, the author
traces who initiated these transformations (laity, clergy, hierarchy) and also the
attitude towards them on the part of state and ecclesiastical authorities.
Keywords: Orthodox rituals, religious tradition, modernization, Soviet “new”
rituals, Khrushchev’s antireligious campaign, Soviet Ukraine.


Elena Zhidkova. The Soviet Civic Rituals as an Alternative to
Religious Rites .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 408
The paper explores the history of the invention and introduction of rituals during
the so called Khrushchev Thaw period, when the authorities were concerned with
the creation and introduction of new socialist rituals and holidays, consonant
with Soviet secularized sensibilities of the postwar period. The idea goes back
to the 1920s but the systematic policy started in the Khrushchev period when
many new rites were created such as wedding ceremonies or registration of the
newborn, as well as “popular” and professional holidays. These new socialist
ceremonial elements were supposed to substitute for the religious rituals system.
Keywords: socialist rites, Khrushchev Thaw, civic holidays in the USSR,
scientific atheism, weddings, marriages.


Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock. Ordinary Death in the Soviet Union:
the Material and Spiritual in Atheist Cosmology .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 430
The paper deals with the problem of death as approached by the Soviet atheist
ideologists. In particular, it explores the attempts by Party ideologists to
substitute religious death rituals by new “socialist rituals.” The author draws
upon the work of a special Commission on the study and introduction of
“socialist rituals” created in 1969 under the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The paper shows the failure of this
policy, which reflects a major flaw in the whole construction of Soviet atheist
ideology — its misunderstanding of spiritual needs of ordinary Soviet citizens,
in both existential and material aspects.
Keywords: socialist rituals, scientific atheism, death, religion in the Ukraine,
Soviet Union, secularization.
Section V. Conceptions and Methods


Catherine Wanner. Lived Religion: A Conceptual Framework for
Understanding Death Rituals in Soviet Ukrainian Borderlands .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 464
This article argues that scholars interested in studying religious practice in
the Soviet Union should focus on “lived religion” as a valid form of religiosity.
This concept allows for the consideration of the improvised nature of religious
practices that were often conducted outside of churches and involved appeals
to spirits in addition to an anthropomorphic God. Lived religion is revealed
in the ritualized death practices conducted in Western Ukrainian territories
annexed to the Soviet Union during World War II and where the Greek-Catholic
Church was prominent before being driven underground in the early 1950s. With
limited access to clergy and liturgy, this article provides an analysis of the lived
religious practices of Western Ukrainians that were mostly conducted in homes
and cemeteries to commemorate death primarily during the Khrushchev period
in this borderland region of the USSR. Such lived religious practices, not only
sustained religious sentiment during the Soviet period, they also were an integral
part of local cultures and identities.
Keywords: USSR, Western Ukraine, Greek Catholic Church, lived religion,
death rituals, secularization.


Sonja Luehrmann. What Can We Know about Soviet-era Religiosity?
A Comparison of Archival and Oral Sources from the Postwar
Volga Region .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 485
Based on materials from archival research and ethnographic fieldwork in the
Middle Volga region, this article considers the relationship between archival
evidence and oral history in attempts to learn about religious practices in the
Soviet Union. Presenting examples of three possible relationships between the
two groups of sources — complementarity, convergence, and contradiction — the
article argues for a reflexive methodological pluralism, where no type of source
is rejected or given exclusive precedence over another, but different types of
evidence are juxtaposed to one another, generating new questions.
Keywords: Mari El, religious practices, archive materials, oral narratives,
methodological pluralism.


Nikolai Mitrokhin. The Illness of “the Fund of the Commissioner”:
Reflections on the Actual Problems of Research in the Field of Religiosity
in the USSR .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 505
This article is devoted to the methodology of research in the field of religiosity
in the USSR. The author outlines the weaknesses of current scholarship: the
lack of knowledge of others’ works, inability to widen the scope of used sources
for a more multidimentional analysis, etc. He specifically refers to a problem
of a researcher’s being concentrated exclusively on the documents from one
particular “favourite” archival fund — usually “the fund of the commissioner for
religious affairs” — which turns the research into an uncritical retelling of the
documents found there.
Keywords: religiosity in the USSR, source study, methodology of historical
research.


Book Reviews
Werth P. Orthodoxy, Other Confessions, and Other Faiths: Essays on the
History of Religious Diversity in the Russian Empire. Moscow: Novoe
literaturnoe obozrenie, 2012 (In Russian) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p. 512
Luehrmann S. Secularism Soviet Style: Teaching Atheism and Religion
in a Volga Republic. Indiana University Press, 2011 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p. 516
Epstein M.N. Russian Spirituality and the Secularization of Culture. USA:
Frank-Tireur, 2011 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .p. 523
Shnirelman V. Russian Rodnoverie: Neopaganism and Nationalism
in Today’s Russia. Moscow: Izdatel’stvo Bibleisko-Bogoslovskogo Instituta,
2012 (In Russian) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p. 527
Tul’pe I. Myphology, Art, Religion. Saint-Petersburg: Nauka Publishers,
2012 (In Russian) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . p. 532
Reference Information
In Russian .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   p. 539
In English . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 549

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