The increasing significance and visibility of relationships between religion and public arenas and institutions following the fall of communism in Europe provide the core focus of this fascinating book. Leading international scholars consider the religious and political role of Christian Orthodoxy in the Russian Federation, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine alongside the revival of old, indigenous religions, often referred to as 'shamanistic' and look at how, despite Islam’s long history and many adherents in the south, Islamophobic attitudes have increasingly been added to traditional anti-Semitic, anti-Western or anti-liberal elements of Russian nationalism. Contrasts between the church’s position in the post-communist nation building process of secular Estonia with its role in predominantly Catholic Poland are also explored. Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries gives a broad overview of the political importance of religion in the Post-Soviet space but its interest and relevance extends far beyond the geographical focus, providing examples of the challenges in the spheres of public, religious and social policy for all transitional countries.
Dr Greg Simons holds a doctoral degree from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He is currently employed at Crismart (Crisis Management Research and Training) in the Swedish National Defence College and at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies (Uppsala University). Professor David Westerlund has a Ph.D. degree in the History of Religions from Stockholm University. He is Professor in the Study of Religions at SÃ¶dertÃ¶rn University in Stockholm. His research interests include modern Islam and Christianty, particularly Pentecostalism, in Africa and Europe. Thematically, he is specialised on issues of religion and health, inter-religious relations, religion and politics, historiography and religious revival movements.
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’A collection of in-depth research articles dedicated to religions from Orthodox Christianity to shamanism and problems ranging from political dimension of winter-bathing to survival strategies of religious minorities. The volume gives an insight into the religio-political space embracing Russia and several East European countries from the viewpoint of building national and ethnic identities.’ Anastasia V. Mitrofanova, Russian Orthodox University of St John the Divine, Russia ’Avoiding simplistic generalizations, Religion, Politics and Nation-Building exhibits the remarkable variety of the religious and political trends at work in Post-Communist countries today. The authors respect the character of each case which they discuss while establishing many instructive points of comparison. They present their highly charged subject matter in an admirably balanced way.’ Paul Valliere, Butler University, USA