Memory and Religion from a Postsecular Perspective  book cover
1st Edition

Memory and Religion from a Postsecular Perspective

ISBN 9781032206981
Published March 31, 2022 by Routledge
448 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The book argues that religion is a system of significant meanings that have an impact on other systems and spheres of social life, including cultural memory.

The editors call for a postsecular turn in memory studies which would provide a more reflective and meaningful approach to the constant interplay between the religious and the secular. This opens up new perspectives on the intersection of memory and religion and helps memory scholars become more aware of the religious roots of the language they are using in their studies of memory. By drawing on examples from different parts of the world, the contributors to this volume explain how the interactions between the religious and the secular produce new memory forms and content in the heterogenous societies of the present-day world. These analyzed cases demonstrate that religion has a significant impact on cultural memory, family memory and the contemporary politics of history in secularized societies. At the same time, politics, grassroots movements and different secular agents and processes have so much influence on the formation of memory by religious actors that even religious, ecclesiastic and confessional memories are affected by the secular.

This volume is ideal for students and scholars of memory studies, religious studies and history.

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Memory and Religion from a Postsecular Perspective

    Zuzanna Bogumil and Yuliya Yurchuk

    Part 1: Memory and Religion: Theoretical Considerations

    2. Religion and Collective Memory of the Last Century: General Reflections and Russian Vicissitudes

    Aleksandr Agadjanian

    2. Sacred Religio-Secular Symbols, National Myths and Collective Memory

    Geneviève Zubrzycki

    Part 2: Postsecularity and Politics of Memory

    3. The Armenian Genocide: Extermination, Memory, Sacralization

    Adam Pomieciński

    4. Building a Patrimonial Church: How the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine Use the Past

    Yuliya Yurchuk 

    5. ‘God is in Truth, Not in Power!’: The Re-militarization of the Cult of St Alexander Nevsky in Contemporary Russian Cultural Memory

    Liliya Berezhnaya

    6. The Martyrdom of Jozef Tiso: The Entanglements of the Sacred and Secular in Post-War Catholic Memories

    Agáta Šústová Drelová

    7. Remembering and Enforced Forgetting: The Dynamics of Remembering Cardinal József Mindszenty in the Cold War Decades

    Réka Földváryné Kiss

    Part 3: Post-Conflict Memories

    8. Evocation and the June Fourth Tiananmen Candlelight Vigil: A Ritual-Theological Hermeneutics

    Lap Yan Kung

    9. Religious Echoes of the Donbas Conflict: The Discourses of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish Communities in Ukraine

    Nadia Zasanska

    10. Official Quests, Vernacular Answers: The Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric (MOC-OA) as a Memory Actor in the Post-Conflict Republic of North Macedonia (2001–19)

    Naum Trajanovski

    11. Negotiating the Sacred at Non-Sites of Memory. The Religious Imaginary of Post-Genocidal Society

    Karina Jarzyńska

    Part 4: Media and Postsecular Memory

    12. The Crimean Tatars’ Memory of Deportation and Islam

    Elmira Muratova

    13. The Soviet Past in Contemporary Orthodox Hymnography and Iconography

    Per-Arne Bodin

    14. Whose Church is It? The Nonreligious Use of Religious Architecture in Eastern Germany

    Agnieszka Halemba

    Part 5: Transnational and Vernacular Memories

    15. The Political Use of the Cult of St Tryphon of Pechenga and Its Potential as a Bridge-Builder in the Arctic

    Elina Kahla

    16. ‘Vernacular’ and ‘Official’ Memories: Looking Beyond the Annual Hasidic Pilgrimages to Uman

    Alla Marchenko

    17. Memory as a Religious Mission? Religion and Nation in Local Commemoration Practices in Contemporary Poland

    Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper

    18. Critical Juxtaposition in the Postwar Japanese Mnemoscape: Saint Maksymilian Kolbe of Auschwitz and the Atomic Bomb Victims of Nagasaki

    Jie-Hyun Lim

    Afterword. From ‘Religion as a Chain of Memory’ to Memory from a Postsecular Perspective

    Kathy Rousselet

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    Zuzanna Bogumił, PhD, works at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Her published works include Gulag Memories: The Rediscovery and Commemoration of Russia's Repressive Past (2018) and a co-authored study titled Milieux de mémoire in Late Modernity: Local Communities, Religion, and Historical Politics (2019).

    Yuliya Yurchuk, PhD, teaches history at Umeå University, Sweden. She specializes in memory, the history of religion and Eastern Europe. She is the author of the book Reordering of Meaningful Worlds: Memory of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Post-Soviet Ukraine (2014).


    'Up until this volume, no scholarly study has been dedicated to exploring the intersection of memory and religion. To this end, Memory and Religion in Postsecular Persepctive offers new vistas on how political and social change comes into being by reinterpreting well known theories.'

    Cathrine Wanner, Pennsylvania State University, USA

    'The book states fundamental questions of relations and boundaries between sacred and profane, religious and secular, political uses of religious narratives and media, the features and contexts of memory processes within the sphere of religion in its institutional and vernacular, lived forms. Elaborating such important issues needs intellectual courage and sensitivity allowing the in-depth and refreshing analyses, that we can find in the book.'

    Małgorzata Zawiła, Jagiellonian University, Poland