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Religion and Nationalism in Modern Russia; Or the Uses and Abuses of Edinoverie

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The Orthodox Church in post-Soviet Russia is currently tackling numerous issues. Some of these are modern, like the institution’s relationship with nationalism, while others are centuries-old, like the Old Believer schism. Some have argued that there is one potential solution to both problems: the restoration of edinoverie, a uniate movement founded in 1800 to bring the Old Believers into the Church. In this article, we consider all of the most recent works on this subject to demonstrate how a particular historical narrative has been sanctified by ecclesiastic writers to justify edinoverie’s revival. At the same time, its legacy is being utilised by a few nationalist or neo-traditionalist figures to restore a distinctively Russian character to Orthodoxy that can inoculate the country against irreligiosity and globalisation. Finally, we consider the failure to offer a convincing scholarly alternative to these narratives, a problem which is only now being rectified by young Russian academics.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory for the Study of Primary Sources, Ural Federal University, Prospekt Lenina 51, Ekaterinburg, 620083, Russian Federation, +447812991378 ; 2: Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory for Studies in Archaeography and Laboratory for the Study of Primary Sources, Ural Federal Univerity, Prospekt Lenina 51, Ekaterinburg, 620083, Russian Federation, +447812991378


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