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Thirty years after the fall of Soviet power, we are beginning to understand that the experience of Muslims in the USSR continued patterns of adaptation and negotiation known from Muslim history in the lands that became the Soviet Union, and in other regions as well; we can also now understand that the long history of Muslims situating religious authority locally, in the various regions that came under Soviet rule, in fact continued through the Soviet era into post-Soviet times.
The present volume is intended to historicize the question of religious authority in Muslim Central Eurasia, through historical and anthropological case studies about the exercise, negotiation, or institutionalization of authority, from the nineteenth to the early twenty-first century; it thus seeks to frame Islamic religious history in the areas shaped by Russian and Soviet rule in terms of issues relevant to Muslims themselves, as Muslims, rather than solely in terms of questions of colonial rule.

Contributors are Sergei Abashin, Ulfat Abdurasulov, Bakhtiyar Babajanov, Devin DeWeese, Allen J. Frank, Benjamin Gatling, Agnès Kefeli, Paolo Sartori, Wendell Schwab, Pavel Shabley, Shamil Shikhaliev, and William A. Wood.
Interreligious Dialogue, Agreements, and Toleration in 16th–18th Century Eastern Europe
The Introduction and the chapter Toleration and Religious Polemics are available in Open Access.

Searching for Compromise? is a collection of articles researching the issues of toleration, interreligious peace and models of living together in a religiously diverse Central and Eastern Europe during the Early Modern period.

By studying theologians, legal cases, literature, individuals, and congregations this volume brings forth unique local dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe. Scholars and researchers will find these issues explored from the perspectives of diverse groups of Christians such as Catholics, Hussies, Bohemian Brethren, Old Believers, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Calvinists, Moravians and Unitarians. The volume is a much-needed addition to the scholarly books written on these issues from the Western European perspective.

Contributors are Kazimierz Bem, Wolfgang Breul, Jan Červenka, Sławomir Kościelak, Melchior Jakubowski, Bryan D. Kozik, Uladzimir Padalinski, Maciej Ptaszyński, Luise Schorn-Schütte, Alexander Schunka, Paul Shore, Stephan Steiner, Bogumił Szady, and Christopher Voigt-Goy.
The Case of Polish Female Converts to Islam
This is the first systematic study of Polish women's conversion to Islam in English. Through interviews with Polish female converts to Islam and ethnographic observation, we learn about their journey to Islam in a country where Muslims constitute less than 0,5% of the population and experience daily struggles related to maintaining their national and religious identities sometimes considered to be spoiled. The analysis presented in the book illuminates different factors that shape the converts' religious lives: attempts to establish "Polish Islam" with its unique cultural flavor; a new hybrid language that includes Polish, English and Arabic elements; intersectional identities as women, Muslims, Poles, and Eastern European immigrants among those who live outside of Poland. This study offers a fascinating window into the lives of Muslims in a sociopolitical context that is considered to be on the margins of the "Muslim world."
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In 1946 the ‘Lviv Sobor’ voted to liquidate the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church. The Moscow Patriarchate considers it a ‘triumph of Orthodoxy,’ while the Catholic Church condemns it as an illegitimate council convened by Soviet authorities. What is the truth? This volume presents the contexts of the ‘Lviv Sobor,’ its aftermath, and reception from various perspectives. Although there is no common narrative, scholars have concluded that the decisions of the ‘Lviv Sobor’ were coerced by Soviet authorities, the Russian Orthodox Church was forced to collaborate, and that reconciliation depends on acknowledging these facts in order to move toward reconciliation.
Stories of Pentecostal conversion and church growth in Roma communities are prolific across Europe but how does conversion impact daily lives in the context of economic hardship and social marginalization? In fact, Roma Pentecostal life stories from Croatia and Serbia reveal both resilience and suffering, and consequently reveal the struggle of lived faith amidst formidable challenges. In what ways, then, has a new Pentecostal identity shifted relationships, thinking, and behaviour? This ethnography explores the ways in which these Roma Pentecostals incorporate their faith in their daily lives through analysing their life stories in conjunction with their socio-cultural contexts and Pentecostal theology.

Abstract

This article argues that taking the ‘long view’ of 1596–1946 simultaneously creates and solves problems. It gives context to the pseudo-sobor, but the past is also used to justify the sobor, allowing actors in the twentieth century to evade their responsibility. 1946 is thus a microcosm of a problem for Christians outside the Soviet context grappling with the relationship between historical truth and theological claims while avoiding the traps of confessionalism, nationalism, and historical relativism.

In: The ‘Lviv Sobor’ of 1946 and Its Aftermath

Abstract

One of the most contentious issues concerning the reception of the events of 1946 is the question of canonicity and legitimacy. This paper examines the his-tory and canonical regulation of church councils in the first millennium and compares this with the gathering in Lviv. Both church representatives and scholars have noted that the sobor was not convened by a legitimate Church authority, the ‘Initiative Group’ leaders were no longer members of the Church for which they pretended to act, the delegates were not elected, no bishop of the UGCC was present, arbitrarily appointed representatives of the ROC participated, and the Soviet authorities intimidated the participants. These critiques are analysed in the context of early canonical legislation, such as the Council of Trullo and the Seventh Ecumenical Council (ad 787), where the intrusion of civil authorities in church life was a problem, as well as Catholic canon law at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, which established the norms by which a synod or council of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in 1946 should have been convened. In no way can the gathering of 1946 be considered a legitimate church council.

In: The ‘Lviv Sobor’ of 1946 and Its Aftermath
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Abstract

This paper traces the history of the ‘Lviv Sobor’ of 1946, examining its preparation, the details of the gathering itself, and its aftermath. Archival documents of the Council for the Affairs of Religious Cults of the USSR, the Council for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church, and other state and secret service archives provide detailed information on the planning and preparation of the gathering by the ‘Initiative Group’. Personal memoirs of participants and observers also round out the picture of these events. From a Catholic perspective, the gathering can be viewed only as a pseudo-sobor, it was an act of violence and injustice in regard to many Greek Catholics, and the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in this movement, initiated by Soviet state authorities and security services, was wrong and unjust.

In: The ‘Lviv Sobor’ of 1946 and Its Aftermath

Abstract

Despite the attempted liquidation of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church (UGCC) in 1946, the church continued its existence in Western Europe and North America. This paper analyses responses to the pseudo-sobor of Lviv by the UGCC between 1946 and 1989, and for the same period, the attitudes of the UGCC to the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Three periods are examined, namely the initial responses in Exile (1946–1963), the Second Vatican Council and the return of Cardinal Josyf Slipyj from Soviet exile (1963–1984), and the period after Slipyj (1984–1989). Initial responses lacked unity and coherency, but with the return of Slipyj a more unified position on various issues was developed, although not always accepted by the UGCC. The 1980s witnessed the first public attempts at reconciliation with the ROC, which can be judged as a break-through to developing a more nuanced, even ecumenical, position. However, those first steps at the highest ecclesiastical level were made with great hesitancy and even fear.

In: The ‘Lviv Sobor’ of 1946 and Its Aftermath
In: The ‘Lviv Sobor’ of 1946 and Its Aftermath