Havighurst Center for Russian & Post-Soviet Studies
12th Annual International Young Researchers Conference
ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY IN RUSSIA AND EASTERN EUROPE: HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES (March 28 – 31, 2013)
Organizer: Scott M. Kenworthy
Before the collapse of communism, religion in Russia and Eastern Europe was rarely a topic of scholarly research. The prevalence of the secularization thesis in the West, combined with the dominance of militantly atheist regimes in the East, led scholars to assume that religion no longer mattered in the region. Moreover, long held stereotypes about the Orthodox Church contributed to the dismissal of Orthodoxy’s importance as a factor in Russian or East European history; only a few pioneers in the field challenged this tendency. Since the collapse of communism, however, religion has reasserted itself in the public sphere in the former communist bloc as in many other parts of the world. There has been a renewed appreciation of Orthodoxy’s significance in the history of the region, as well as growing interest among political scientists and anthropologists who study Russia and Eastern Europe.
This conference seeks to tap into a new wave of research on Orthodoxy in Russia and Eastern Europe. It is intended to be interdisciplinary, so we invite papers from a number of disciplinary perspectives: historical, anthropological, sociological, intellectual, literary, and/or political science. We also seek to cut across geographical lines, so papers can be concerned with the Russian Empire/Soviet Union and its successor states as well as Eastern Europe (former Habsburg and Ottoman empires, Romania, Bulgaria, and the former Yugoslavia). We invite papers that tap into the transnational dimensions of Orthodoxy—ties between Russia or Eastern Europe and the new world, for example, or Orthodox missions outside traditional territories. We also invite papers that explore the relationship of Orthodoxy to other religious traditions in the region.