«Let's think, think, brothers»: popular religiosity before and after the 1917 revolution (on the example of the Middle Volga Region)

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In the article, the authors attempted to consider the urgent problem of the evolution of relationship between the government and the church at the everyday level of the «people's faith» without a chronological divide in the form of events of the 1917 revolution. «Folk faith» is a kind of «apocrypha», generated by the daily adaptation of various religious teachings by the «congregation», with their level of education and cultural development. The «congregation» within the boundaries of this work refers to the representatives of the simple social classes in the pre-revolutionary period, bourgeois and peasants, and ordinary residents of the Samara region in the Soviet period, that is, the so-called «little man». This «little man» in such a multinational region as the Middle Volga region, was largely embraced, despite the russification and Christianization (Orthodox), by confessional and national traditions. In the late XIX – early XX century, before the 1917 revolution, «religious persecution» in relation to religious dissent manifested itself in such practices of church and secular power as exhortation procedures, seizures of literature, objects of worship, in the rigorism of verbal culture, when offensive connotations were used in clerical work against Old Believers and sectarians. After the 1917 revolution, the period when the construction of ideology was only taking place is of particular interest. And, despite the ideological atheism of the new Soviet regime, despite the struggle against the church and religion, the 1920-ies were a period of some tolerance towards sectarians. This period continued until the 1930-ies, when the Soviet government already clearly led anti-religious and anti-sectarian policies. The study of the popular religiosity of the representatives of the Middle Volga during the period of social upheaval is necessary for the further improvement of religious-state relations and the formation of the spiritual consciousness of citizens, which confirms the scientific relevance of this topic. The purpose of this article is to examine the evolution of the relationship between the government and the church at the everyday level of the «people's faith» without a chronological divide in the form of events of the 1917 revolution. The results of the work done prove that everyday life, from the perspective of consideration, as is customary in ethnographic methods, «from the inside», shows that the picture of the human world cannot change due to a change in the political system instantly. A person can adapt to the new «rules of the game», but what we call the «people's faith» is much deeper, this is how a person behaves alone with himself.

About the authors

Z. M. Kobozeva

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4080-8349

Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor of the Faculty of History, Department of Russian History

A. V. Protasova

Samara National Research University

Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4733-0301

Master of Historical Sciences, Department of Russian History


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Copyright (c) 2020 Kobozeva Z.M., Protasova A.V.

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