Practising Without Belonging?
Inspired by Max Weber's Protestant ethic thesis, this book examines the intersection of Russia's economic transformation and religious revival in the sphere of morality. As revealed through the ethnographic study of businessmen in the city of Vladimir, the relations between Church and State, politics and religion, and belief and practice, are deeply ambiguous. Businessmen experience social and political pressure to practice Russian Orthodoxy, and they experience a constant tension between their desire to uphold moral values and their need to seek individual gains. As personal spiritual teachers (dukhovnyie nastavniki), priests guide businessmen in both their religious and business practices. These relationships are mutually beneficial, but they produce multiple moralities that allow for different interpretations and courses of action among professed Orthodox believers. Businessmen practice without belonging because they hold only loose connections to parish communities, even as their belief spurs the reconstruction of churches and public reappearance of religious events, figures, and symbols in everyday life and national history. (Series: Halle Studies in the Anthropology of Eurasia - Vol. 27)
Publication Date: 6/20/2013