Religion and Language in Post-Soviet Russia
Church Slavonic, one of the world's historic sacred languages, has experienced a revival in post-Soviet Russia. Blending religious studies and sociolinguistics, this is the first book devoted to Church Slavonic in the contemporary period. It is not a narrow study in linguistics, but uses Slavonic as a passkey into various wider topics, including the renewal and factionalism of the Orthodox Church; the transformation of the Russian language; and the debates about protecting the nation from Western cults and culture. It considers both official and popular forms of Orthodox Christianity, as well as Russia's esoteric and neo-pagan traditions. Ranging over such diverse areas as liturgy, pedagogy, typography, mythology, and conspiracy theory, the book illuminates the complex interrelationship between language and faith in post-communist society, and shows how Slavonic has performed important symbolic work during a momentous chapter in Russian history. It is of great interest to scholars of sociolinguistics and of religion, as well as to Russian studies specialists.