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Change and Its Discontents. Religious Organizations and Religious Life in Central and Eastern Europe
Volume Editors: and
This volume presents a comparative study on the pivotal role of religion in social transformation of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) over the past three decades. Organized into four thematic sections, it examines divergent patterns of religiosity and non-religious worldviews, secularization, religious presence in public life, and processes of identity formation. Comparison across the countries in the CEE reveals the absence of uniform and synchronic dynamics in the region. The geopolitical and cultural heterogeneity, the need to understand post-1989 social processes in the context of a much longer historical development of the region, and the importance of incorporating religious factors — are central to all contributions in this volume.

Contributors are: Mikhail Antonov, Olga Breskaya, Zsuzsanna Demeter-Karászi, Jan Kaňák, Alar Kilp, Zsófia Kocsis, Tobias Koellner, Valéria Markos, András Máté-Tóth, Jerry G. Pankhurst, Gabriella Pusztai, Ringo Ringvee, Ariane Sadjed, Marjan Smrke, Miroslav Tížik, David Václavík, Jan Váně, Marko Veković, and Siniša Zrinščak.
Sociology of Crisis Experience in Central and Eastern Europe
Volume Editors: and
The book casts a spotlight on Central and Eastern European societies, making their experiences visible and meaningful within the postcolonial discourse. The modernization theory overlooks important aspects of postsocialist transformation. Consequently, sociological knowledge has drifted apart from the social production of knowledge, and sociology has become alarmingly irrelevant to the people it studies. Therefore, the book departs from preconceived notions of “normal” and “modern” to foreground the importance of actual social experience. After all, Central and Eastern Europe is a valuable yet underestimated social laboratory. Thus, the contributors experiment with new theoretical and methodological approaches to bridge the gap between social research and real people.

Contributors are: Izabella Bukraba-Rylska, Jacek Burski, Grzegorz Ekiert, Kaja Gadowska, Anna Giza, Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper, Michał Kaczmarczyk, Krzysztof T. Konecki, Mirosława Marody, Adam Mrozowicki, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Anne White, Renata Włoch, Tomasz Zarycki, and Marek Zirk-Sadowski.
In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
Author:

Abstract

This article examines the memorialisation of victims of political repressions as part of a transitional justice policy. By drawing on insights from memory studies, it reveals how such memorialisation practices can become a dynamic transitional justice mechanism developed by grassroots movements. The case study in focus is the arrangement of memorials to the victims of Stalinist repressions in Kurapaty near Minsk, Belarus, identifying societal actors participating in memorialisation practices and exploring their values. This study provides a more complex understanding of questions concerning transitional justice, memorialisation, and material traces of traumatic memory embodied in the memorials.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review

Abstract

This article examines how noncombatants who lived in the Central Black Earth Region of the Soviet Union during the Soviet-German War (1941–45) remembered their experience of combat and Axis occupation seventy years after the last shots were fired. Based on interviews with over a dozen individuals who were children and adolescents during the war, this study finds that despite an overwhelming and annually celebrated official narrative of the war, the interviewees discuss the war from only their own horizon of observation. With a focus on themes common to all the interviewees (family, childhood, and labor), this essay stresses the fact that while modern warfare is a national (or international) phenomenon, it is always experienced locally by combatants and noncombatants alike. Such an examination highlights the complexity of the experience of warfare and how this complexity is demonstrated in how personal memory of the event diverges from official memory.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
Editor:
As of 2021, the volumes in Contemporary Russian Philosophy are published in a separate series rather than as a subseries of the Value Inquiry Book Series. Please visit the Contemporary Russian Philosophy homepage.

Contemporary Russian Philosophy explores a variety of perspectives in and on philosophy as it is currently being practiced in Russia. Co-sponsored by the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and by the Russian Philosophical Society, this special series features collaborative works between Russian and Western scholars on topics of philosophical importance. The series also publishes monographs and collections of essays by Russian philosophers, as well as studies by all scholars on topics related to contemporary Russian philosophy. All volumes are published in English.
The impressive series Mass Culture & Entertainment in Russia comprises collections of extremely rare, and often unique, materials that offer a stunning insight into the dynamics of cultural and daily life in imperial and Soviet Russia. The series is organized along six thematic lines that together cover the full spectrum of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian culture, ranging from the penny press and high-brow art journals in pre-Revolutionary Russia, to children’s magazines and publications on constructivist design in the early Soviet Union.

The materials brought together in this series are essential to Slavists and historians, but should be equally appealing to political scientists, art historians, and sociologists who no longer view mass culture as the arrière-garde of cultural evolution, but as a highly complex phenomenon that deserves to be studied in its own right.

The entire series will be made available on Brill Online Primary Sources.

Abstract

In 1949, Stalin and his comrades-in-arms were rocked by allegations of voter fraud at a recent Leningrad party conference. Investigations soon revealed the conference’s electoral commission to have zeroed-out all the votes cast against the leaders of the Leningrad party organization. Outrage within the all-union party leadership in Moscow quickly transformed this scandal into one of the major catalysts for the last major political purge of the Stalin era, the Leningrad Affair. Aside from informing the start of this purge, the scandal also sheds light on the role that elections played in Stalin-era governance.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review
Author:

Abstract

Several recent Russian films show victimizers become victims, and victims— victimizers. This random division into victimizers and victims was forced on society by Stalin, who enjoyed sending his intimate friends-victims (and their wives, children, and relatives) to torture and death. Millions of innocent Russians were captured, killed, or sent to the Gulag, but in an unprecedented way, they were also made to implicate their own intimate friends and family members and become victimizers in their turn. Alternatively, the NKVD torturers were also turned into victims, periodically killed off and replaced by new recruits. Testimonies of Shalamov, Ginsburg, and Dovlatov show that when intimate relationships shrink to command-compliance, both victimizers and victims shed emotions, including shame and guilt, and aggression becomes the only socially meaningful action and the last available entertainment. I identify the visual metaphor of this dynamic, the always identical indifferent face of cruelty, in the films Burnt by the Sun, The Return, Elena, Loveless, and Captain Volkonogov Escaped.

In: The Soviet and Post-Soviet Review