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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Orthodox Christianity, social change and solidarity: Searching for new anthropological approaches


Location: Poznań, Poland
Date: 30 Aug 11:00 - 15:30


Room 2.100

Orthodox Christianity is well known for presenting itself as a conservative force. Yet, Orthodox Christians and Orthodox Churches have been involved in a number of recent political, economic and social upheavals, notably in Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. A non-exhaustive list includes Greece’s economic and humanitarian crises, the danger of schism following the line of Russian-Ukrainian church conflict, Ukraine’s Maidan events, and the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. More generally, contemporary Orthodox Christianity is faced with complex challenges posed by multiple crisis situations and rapid social changes. Do struggles over power, resources and knowledge or the shifting patterns of nationalism, and globalization, operate as catalysts for the transformation of Eastern Orthodox Christianity? Are there specific forms of agency and solidarity emerging among Orthodox Christians within countries and across borders? If so, do they affect political or economic rationalizations as well, at micro- and macro levels? Most of the analytical frameworks applied to the anthropological study of Christianity derive from studies of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. It is the aim of this panel is to a) identify distinctive strategies of solidarity and tackling crises among Eastern Orthodox Christians; b) to revisit existing analytical frameworks and outline new conceptual tools of the anthropology of Christianity. We invite proposals based on ethnographic fieldwork among Eastern Orthodox Christians, in settings where they constitute an absolute majority, but also in multi-religious and multi-cultural settings. We welcome also comparative case studies with Christian and other denominations.


  • P 65.1
    • Dr. Köllner, Tobias (Witten/Herdecke University)
    • Dr. Ladykowska, Agata (Polish Academy of Sciences)
    • Prof. Benovska-Sabkova, Milena (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
  • P 65.2
    • Dr. Köllner, Tobias (Witten/Herdecke University)
    • Dr. Ladykowska, Agata (Polish Academy of Sciences)
    • Prof. Benovska-Sabkova, Milena (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

Timetable | Contribution List

Displaying 9 contributions out of 9
Based on the data of the field research in summer 2018 I will showcase how rural dwellers in Western Uganda choose their religious affiliation. I was working in a small orthodox community near Fort-Portal and have possibility to compare results with the data acquired in Uganda Old-believers communities (Russian Old-believers orthodox church) near Kampala. First it should be noted that all the deno ... More
Presented by Dr. Andrey TUTORSKIY on 30/8/2019 at 9:20
In April 2018, the so called “Velvet revolution” in Armenia put an end to about two-decades of the post-soviet oligarchic regime. Under this regime a strong clericalization of the society was undertaken. Religion and clerics were introduced into many of spheres that had previously been secularized: army, school, culture, state rituals. The church was exempted of taxes and that played its impor ... More
Presented by Dr. Yulia ANTONYAN on 30/8/2019 at 12:00
After several decades of self-declared atheism and severe persecutions occurred during the socialist era, the post-socialist period witnessed a particularly profound transformation that saw the reappearance of religion in the public sphere. Although religion did not vanish during socialist times, it retreated to the private sphere and became visible again only during the final years. This so-calle ... More
Presented by Dr. Tobias KÖLLNER on 30/8/2019 at 14:05
This paper addresses autobiographical narratives recorded during fieldwork in Russia (2006-2007). Theoretically, it draws on the concepts of conversion (Pelkmans 2009, 2010, 2015), “moral torment” (Robbins 2004) and “moral lazarets” (Hann 2010). Narratives are a powerful means of shaping individual identities and self-perception (Ammerman, Williams 2012); believers forge their new moral se ... More
Presented by Prof. Milena BENOVSKA on 30/8/2019 at 13:45
Performing peace in a Multi-Ethnic Village in Georgia Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Georgia, this paper analyzes how the mundane peace is continuously reaffirmed in the tradition to invite Muslim godparents to baptize Christian children. In the ritual of the Christening, the Muslim godparents perform the roles of the chosen Christians while at the same time remaining Muslim. The contextual ... More
Presented by Dr. Ketevan GURCHIANI on 30/8/2019 at 11:00
Based on the field evidence collected in 2017-18, the paper deals with a recent phenomenon – the Orthodox Christian Old Believers in Uganda. This faith originated in Russia, but in Uganda all its adherents belong to the native ethnic groups and, except children, have converted to Old Believers from other religions in adulthood since the 1990s. Ugandan Old Believers are the first to accept this f ... More
Presented by Prof. Dmitri M. BONDARENKO on 30/8/2019 at 9:40
The aim of the presentation is to examine xenophobic and tolerant attitudes of members of Old Believers community in Uganda. It is planned to reveal attitudes to representatives of different ethnic, regional and confessional groups in the country. It is planned to put this group in the global context and compare results with conclusions made by Pew Research Centre. The presentation is based on the ... More
Presented by Dr. Oleg KAVYKIN on 30/8/2019 at 14:45
This paper investigates the interrelation between economic decision-making and religious identity within ethnic Russian Eastern Christian communities inhabiting the western bank of Chudskoe Lake (Estonia), paying particular attention to the historical dimension. The study investigates the patterns of labor and exchange/gender and age in the priestless Orthodox communities thereby exploring particu ... More
Presented by Dr. Agata ŁADYKOWSKA on 30/8/2019 at 14:25
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