№ 4, 2020
The article is devoted to the analysis of the role of the religious factor in the development of the sub-ethnic national movement studying the case of the Kryashens. The study is based on Jose Casanova’s concept of religious revival. Following Casanova, the author assumes that religious identity can become the basis of ethnic identity only if religion transforms from a state-oriented institution into an institution oriented towards society and actively participating in its improvement. At the same time, revealing the dynamic nature of the formation of the (sub)ethnic groups, the author relies on the ethnosymbolic concept of John Hutchinson, which focuses on the importance of the ethnically significant symbols. In the case of the Kryashens a religious marker represents such a symbol.
The article examines in detail two stages of the Kryashens’ religious revival. The first stage occurred in the second half of the 19th century and was associated primarily with the missionary activity of Nikolay Ilminsky. The second stage started in 1989 and continues today. The research carried out by the author lends unequivocal support to the idea that religion played a key role in the formation of an original Kryashen ethno-cultural identity. At the same time, it shows that within Kryashens’ religiosity the vector is directed from society to religion rather than from religion to society. Their religious identity is instrumental. However, although there are very few ultra-religious people in the Kryashen community and most of the Kryashens are secularized, religion remains one of the most important markers of their ethnic identity.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ A. E.Denisov