CfP: Old Belief in Russia and Abroad: Current Issues in Research

James White's picture
Call for Papers
May 25, 2019 to May 26, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Russian or Soviet History / Studies, Religious Studies and Theology, European History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies




University of Tartu

School of Theology and Religious Studies

Ural Federal University

Ural Humanities Institute

Laboratory of Archaeographical Studies




The School of Theology and Religious History at the University of Tartu and the Laboratory of Archaeographical Studies at Ural Federal University would like to invite you to participate in the jointly organised international conference “Old Belief in Russia and Abroad: Current Issues in Research”, which will be held in Tartu on 25-26 May 2019.

The centuries-long history of Russian Old Belief has demonstrated the considerable extent to which it is able to adapt to the surrounding circumstances: this has allowed the Old Believers not only to survive in alien environments, but also to maintain and develop their religious and cultural identity. Thus, there is a great deal of scholarly interest in the Old Believers in all those countries where fate cast them. Exchanging opinions on new research and discoveries is a necessary condition for developing our knowledge about Old Belief. Old Believers settled in the Urals and the Baltic in the 17th and 18th centuries, which means that there is much interest in studying Old Belief at both the University of Tartu and Ural Federal University. As the first joint conference to be organised by representatives of these two universities, we aim to acquaint researchers in the Baltic and Urals with each other’s research and to foster cooperation in the study of the distinctive phenomenon that is Old Belief.  

At our conference, we hope to examine a wide range of topics:

  • Old Believer emigration and diaspora;
  • Old Belief and government authorities;
  • Old Believer congresses and movements in the 20th century;
  • Education and family traditions;
  • The cultural and liturgical legacy of Old Belief, including icon painting, music, and literary traditions;
  • The modern position of Old Belief in Russia and abroad;
  • The lives and religious thought of key figures in Old Belief, edinoverie, etc.

Applications can be submitted up to and including 15 March 2019.

Each participant will have 20 minutes to present their paper.

Working languages: Russian and English.

Travel and hotel costs should be borne by participants. If you need a hotel, please inform us in advance about the duration of the stay and your budgetary restrictions. Participants can also book their own accommodation in Tartu through the Internet.

Organising Committee:

Irina Pochinskaia, doctor of historical science and head of the Laboratory of Archaeographical Studies, Ural Federal University

Irina Paert, PhD, senior research fellow in church history, University of Tartu

James Matthew White, PhD, senior research fellow of the Laboratory of Archaeographical Studies, Ural Federal University, and research fellow in church history, University of Tartu

Applications should be sent via email to with the subject line ‘Application for the Tartu conference’. The organising committee maintains the right to reject applications.

Applications must contain the following information:

Forename, surname, and patronymic (if applicable)

Academic degree

Current position

Place of work

Contact number


Whether a hotel booking is required

Title of the paper

An abstract no longer than 250 words

Conference participants who need an official invitation in order to obtain a visa should also send a copy of the relevant pages of their passports and a draft text for the invitation to