CFP: Religion and Russian Revolution, 26-28 October 1917, Moscow

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Religion and Russian Revolution


Institute of Social Sciences,

Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);

Center for the Study of Religion, Russian State University of the Humanities


26-28 October 2017, Moscow


International conference


Second Call for Papers


This conference will mark the centennial of the Russian Revolution and will explore the complex interactions between revolutionary events and ideas, on the one hand, and religious visions, institutions, and experiences, on the other. The aim of the conference is to reveal the most important and up-to-date trends in the field; present new results coming from recently expanding sources; and articulate new interpretations according to changes in research paradigms, approaches and techniques.


The conference is multidisciplinary. It will draw upon materials related to historiography of political and religious institutions; sociology of religious processes; study of theological, philosophical and artistic reflections of the Revolution; and anthropology of everyday religious practices.


Chronologically, while the “epicenter” will be certainly the year 1917, the conference will assume a wider understanding of the Revolution that will include the Great War and the Civil War, that is, approximately the 1914-1924 period. The conference will also consider reflections about the longer impact of Revolution in the field of religion. 


The conference will further deal with studies of various religious traditions of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union. 


Comparative cross-cultural experiences of other revolutions may be included as an additional conceptual resource.   


A list of possible topics:


  • The crisis of the imperial confessional model as one of the causes of the collapse of the ancien régime;


  • The “secularization” of religious energies, their conversion (perversion?) into revolutionary ideologies and new forms of social and political agency; the revolutionary agency of people with religious background;


  • Revolution and religious revivals and reforms; The 1917-1918 All-Russian Church Council; reformist movements in other religions;


  • Religious communities as resources of social and political mobilization; the rise of religious activism in early Soviet times; 


  • Confessional and ethnic diversity during the disintegration of the empire and the Civil war; religious developments in the imperial peripheries;  


  • Religion as a subject of legislation, religious policies and religious violence;  


  • Religious imagery of the Revolution and eschatological motives in elite and mass consciousness, literature and arts, memoirs and other ego-documents;


  • Philosophical and theological perceptions of the Revolution: between Apocalypse and “religious socialism;”


  • The origin and the meaning of the Russian revolutionary atheist project;


  • The consequences and the products of the Revolution: secularization, resacralization of the communist ideology and the Soviet state; the “new human being;” the totalitarian cult.


Organization of the conference:


            Please send your proposed title, abstract of 200-250 words, and a brief CV before December 31, 2016 г. to the address The papers will be selected, and the program created by the 1st April, 2017.   


RANEPA will provide, in selected cases, with the costs of transport, board and lodging for speakers, usually for two days, plus days of arrival and departure. Nevertheless, we would be grateful, if you could obtain mobility grants from your home institutions, which would permit us to invite more speakers from abroad.  If you need Russian visa, please make sure you have sent us all the necessary visa data in time. 


            The organizing committee of the conference: Alexander Agadjanian, Aleksei Beglov, Scott Kenworthy, Nadieszda Kizenko, Alexander Kyrlezhev, Dmitry Uzlaner,  Evert van der Zweerde.


            Selected papers will be published at a special issue of the quarterly Gosudarstvo, religiia, tserkov’ v Rossii i za rubezhom, as well as in other journals.