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Accepted Paper:

Rituals and commemoration: State-Church relationships and the politics of memory in contemporary Russia  
Tobias Köllner (WittenHerdecke University)

Paper long abstract:

Since state atheism was abandoned in the 1990ies, the Russian Federation entered what can be called a post-secular phase in which the political, the secular, and the religious are interconnected. During the time of my fieldwork in 2006/2007, a tendency to favour the Russian Orthodox Church and to facilitate its return to the public reached its climax. New public holidays were introduced and many public rituals were reinterpreted in religious terms. The setting and the language at these events drew heavily on religious and national symbols, thus merging the sacred and the profane. Following Max Weber I perceive the institutional charisma of the state and the church as constantly imperilled and interpret these rituals as means to provide legitimacy and to allow for the re-personalisation of charisma. However, I also try to show the limits of the efficacy of these rituals as they remain controversial to some people.

Panel W051
From the mouth of God: 'the political' from a post-secular perspective
  Session 1