Accepted Paper:

'Compromise goods' and negotiated religiosity among the Russian Orthodox today  
Tünde Komáromi (Károli Gáspár University, Budapest)

Paper short abstract:

The paper offers details on fasting habits among the Russian Orthodox today. I will give examples of compromises between the ideals of asceticism and more consumer means of religiosity. Links between fasting habits, consuming and communication in general will be analyzed.

Paper long abstract:

The fall of the Soviet Union and the following economic changes were often interpreted among the Russian Orthodox as a result of conspiracy and demonic influences. Deciding to live as an Orthodox Christian in the context of today's globalizing market economy means delimiting activity, communication and consumerism. Ideals of contemporary Orthodox Christian lifestyle reminds of fasting, which is practiced in order to purify the body and the soul. In case of Eastern Christianity fasting means abstinence from food of animal origin and a period of intensive religious contemplation and praying. Similarly to the rest of religious rules and expectations, here we have countless means of compromises and personal negotiation of rules and a developing market of 'compromise goods', like mayonnaise or cakes for fasting days. The paper proposes to find out a possible link between fasting habits and a 'culture of compromises' among contemporary Russian Orthodox believers.

Panel W062
Post-Soviet religion and Russia's economic crises