Mo 08 Jan 2018
Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin
taken by Iuliia Buyskykh in 2016, Saint Onouphrios Monastery in Poland
Prisma Ukraïna Workshop

Religious Intersections in Post-Socialist Europe: Between State and Imaginary Borders

convened by Iuliia Buyskykh (Visting Prisma Ukraïna Fellow / National Institute of Ukrainian Studies)

Speakers include: Tetiana Zurzhenko (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen), Viktoriya Sereda (Ukrainian Catholic University/Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 2017/18), Kamila Baraniecka-Olszewska (Polish Academy of Science), Dirk Schuster (Universität Potsdam), Sabine von Löwis (Centre Marc Bloch Berlin), David Henig (University of Kent), Agnieszka Halemba (University of Warszaw), Regina Elsner (Zentrum für Osteuropa- und international Studien), Armina Omerika (Goethe Universität Frankfurt / Main), Tsypylma Darieva (Zentrum für Osteuropa- und international Studien)

The interdisciplinary study of religion and faith in Eastern Europe, including both post-socialist and post-Soviet spaces, reflects the internal complexity and dynamics of religiosity in a region that has constantly faced political challenges such as frozen military conflicts, shifting administrative borders and waves of migrations. In a number of post-socialist countries, religious and national identities are closely connected. The involvement of religion and religiosity in political, social and economic life of the region reveals a wide range of blended religious forms, contested and shared sacred sites and a wide spectrum of quasi-religious movements. The phenomenon of this pluralism opens a discussion on a set of research issues, connected with ‘frontiers’ and ‘borders’, and concerning especially the ‘imaginary’ borders that arise as a result of the ‘othering’ of those people living on post-Soviet and post-socialist terrains in Eastern Europe. The ‘imaginary’ borders occur when hidden traumas, stereotypes and lack of opened dialogue dominate the experience of real communication and interaction between various actors within average local communities. These ‘imaginary’ borders are strengthened by the contested memories that become materialized in religious practices and deviant behavioral expressions at sacred places.

Using both anthropological and sociological research tools the workshop intends to focus not on the ‘real’ and/or ‘national’ history, but on images which can be seen through articulations of a local point of view, including everyday experiences and perceptions of the ‘Other’ in average communities on the periphery of the European Union. This workshop aims to open a discussion on a set of challenging issues for the East European region: the representations of history and memory through religious institutions in local communities; material manifestations of religiosity in borderland dwellings; practices that enable diverse ethnic and/or confessional groups to coexist through shared sacred spaces and common ecumenical initiatives.

Please find information on the participants and their abstracts as well as the program here.

Please register at prisma(at) if you would like to attend.