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Post-Soviet Believers in Migration

Constructing Memory-Based and Space-Bounded Identity Narratives in Finland

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
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  • 1 University of HelsinkiFaculty of Theology, Finland, Helsinki
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Abstract

Understanding of space is central in migrant identity-building and integration to a host society. Identity also relates to time, which is effectuated by memory. This article shows how the interplay between religiosity and space may be central to believers’ identity narratives. Religiosity and memories of the past may affiliate migrants to a specific country. Through narrative analysis, I have shown five different ways Russian speakers from various denominations in Finland affiliate spatially—whether to the past country which does not exist anymore, country of origin, two home countries, host country or the global society. Each narrative has its own way of memorizing. The article shows multiplicity in Russian-speaking believers’ life courses and present-day identity-building in Finland. The article also demonstrates, in a migration situation, the effect on identity narratives of denominational background and recognition as sectarian or necessity of remediation.

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