CfP Religion and Magic in Socialist and Post-socialist Contexts

Alexandra Cotofana's picture

CfP Religion and Magic in Socialist and Post-socialist Contexts

Cambridge Scholars, UK


Edited by Alexandra Cotofana (Indiana University, Bloomington) and James M Nyce (Ball State University and Lund University )

Preface by Patrick Michelson (IU Bloomington)

Afterword by Catherine Wanner (Penn State University)


Call for Papers



Religion and magic have long played important roles within the now post-socialist and post-soviet spaces, whose  sets of social performances and socio-political balance regarding religion and magic can  differ greatly from Western perspectives.  Although religion and magic are often thought of as being two distinct, even antagonistic forces, they often find ways to work together in post-socialist and post-soviet spaces. By taking on various examples from post-socialist and post-soviet spaces, the volume aims to bring together diverse historical and ethnographic cases ranging from analysis on orthodoxy and heterodoxy pre and post 1989, the relationship of religious and state institutions to individuals practicing alternative forms of religions, Eastern borderlands as spaces of moral ambiguity, to perspectives held by both post-socialist and post-soviet practitioners and believers. In doing so, this edited volume seeks to explore some of the ways in which magic and religion manage to function together in (and help make sense of) post-socialist and post-Soviet communities.


The volume intersects anthropology, history and cultural memory studies, and is intended to encourage inquiry into past and current magic and religious practice in socialist and post-socialist spaces, using both  archived material and ethnographic studies. We are interested in particular in papers that discuss how repurposing religious and magic practices has occurred into the post 1989 transition in post-socialist and post-soviet spaces.. The papers should geographically concern: Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltics, the Caucasus, ex-Soviet Union, Central Asia.


We invite articles engaging with (but not limited to) the following themes:


  • the spiritual and the political
  • uses of magic and/or religion in everyday life during socialism/post-socialism (soviet/post-soviet times)
  • variations and revisions of spiritual narratives
  • ways of representing and defining spirituality during socialism/post-socialism (soviet/post-soviet times)
  • conversion in religious discourse and their influence on national identity

spirituality, research and journalism during socialism/post-socialism (soviet/post-soviet times)

  • religious and magic practice – authenticity and reinvention
  • the religious and the magical in cultural and collective memory
  • the religious and the magical as political resistance
  • gender and spiritual practices in socialist and post-socialist/post-soviet  spaces


Please send 300-word abstracts and 200-word bios to and by November 15, 2015. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by November 25, 2015.


Full 7000-word chapters based on the accepted abstracts will be due by December 31, 2015.

Categories: CFP