Evgeny Grishin

Evgeny Grishin
Key terms
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Conceptual history
  • Discursive practices
  • Material culture
  • Identity
  • Digital humanities
  • Early modern Europe
  • Eastern Europe and Russia

Evgeny Grishin is a historian of Europe and Russia in the period of early modernity with particular interests in language, religion, and materiality. He received his Bachelor’s degree in History and Law from Viatka State University of Humanities in Kirov and his Master’s degree in Russian History from the European University at St. Petersburg. In 2017 Evgeny earned his PhD degree with honors in History from the University of Kansas. He has been awarded scholarships from the Fulbright Foundation, Gerda Henkel Stiftung, German Historical Institute, among others.


Evgeny’s research concerns the role of language in the identification and consequent persecution of religious dissent, specifically of Russian religious groups known collectively as the “Schism” (Raskol), or the Old Belief (staroverie). The study treats language not as merely a means of communication, but rather as a complex social practice. This approach to language is manifested in the works of the Cambridge school of conceptual history (link 1) and Begriffsgeschichte. At the same time, Evgeny views religion as an important part of human experience not reducible to ideology or institutions. He takes part in several international projects (link 1, link 2) directed towards the study of religious discourses and ideas in Early Modern Russia. However, Evgeny’s research interests go beyond language and into the realm of material culture. He is specifically interested in the ways multiple identities are being constructed and manifested through material objects. The adoration of the tangible iconic images in various Christian cultures serve as an example of this phenomenon.

Right now Evgeny is working on the religious dimension of the human-nature relationships within the project “Material Relations: Nature, Subjectivity, and Love”.

Evgeny’s publications

Evgeny’s publications include:

  • “1773 Decree on Religious Toleration,” in Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. 1500-1900, ed. by David Thomas and John Chesworth (Leiden; Boston: Brill, forthcoming in 2019).
  • “Feofan Prokopovich,” in Ibid.
  • “‘Their Prayer Is Reaching God…’ Old Believers and Icons in 18th-Century Russia,” in Iosif Volotskii and Eastern Christianity: Essays Across Seventeen Centuries, ed. by David Goldfrank, Valeria Nollan, and Jennifer Spock. Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing, 2017. P. 239-262.
  • “The Origins of the Old Belief in Viatka: A Conceptual Problem,” Canadian-American Slavic Studies, vol. 51, no. 1 (2017), 105-121.
  • “Simon Azar’in,” in Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History. Volume 8. Northern and Eastern Europe (1600-1700), ed. by David Thomas and John Chesworth (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2016), 905-910.
  • “Rodion Grekov,” in Ibid., 921-923.
  • “‘Raskol’ i ‘raskol’niki’ v tserkovnom iazyke XVII i XVIII vekov” (“The ‘Schism’ and ‘Schismatics’ in the Church Language of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”), in Tserkov’ govorit / The Church Speaks / Die Kirche Spricht (research blog), accessed November 6, 2017, https://f.hypotheses.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/2917/files/2016/03/Гришин-Е.-Раскол-и-раскольники-в-церковном-языке_Final-1.pdf.
  • “K voprosu o publikatsiiakh ‘12 statei o raskol’nikakh’ tsarevny Sof’i” (“Towards the Question of Publications of the ‘12 Provisions Concerning Schismatics’ of Tsarevna Sof’ia”), in Materialy Mezhdunarodnogo molodezhnogo nauchnogo foruma “Lomonosov-2010,” ed. by I.A. Aleshkovskii, et al., electronic source (Moscow: MAKS Press, 2010).
  • “‘Reforma’ ili ‘ispravlenie’? K ponimaniiu tserkovnykh izmenenii serediny XVII veka” (“‘Reform’ or ‘Correction’? Towards an Understanding of the Ecclesiastical Liturgical Changes in the Seventeenth Century”), in Pravoslavie: Konfessii, instituty, religioznost’ (XVII-XX vv.), ed. by Mikhail Dolbilov and Pavel Rogoznyi (St. Petersburg: Izdatel’stvo Evropeiskogo universiteta v Sankt-Peterburge, 2009), 15-29.

Selected Presentations

  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 49th Annual National Convention. Boston, USA. December 6-9, 2018: paper titled “Seventeenth-Century Muscovite Theology of Love Through the Works of the Archpriest Avvakum.”
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 49th Annual National Convention. Chicago, USA. November 9-12, 2017: roundtable titled “Religious Change, Transgression, and the Impact of the Protestant Reformation in Early Modern Eurasia: On the Quincentennial of the Reformation.”
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 48th Annual National Convention. Washington, DC, USA. November 17-20, 2016: roundtable titled “Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History 1500-1800.”
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 46th Annual National Convention. San Antonio, TX, USA. November 20-23, 2014: paper titled “The Origins of the Old Belief in Viatka: A Conceptual Problem.”
  • Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau, Stipendiatentag. Moscow, Russia. September 18, 2014: paper titled “Iazyk o ‘Raskole’ v Rossii rannego Novogo vremeni” (“Language of the ‘Schism’ in Early Modern Russia”).
  • 2013 Ralph and Ruth Fisher Forum at the University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA, June 14-16, 2013: paper titled “Peasant Old Believers and Imperial Space in Early Modern Russia.”
  • Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture, 5th Biennial Conference. Washington, DC, USA, March 8-9, 2013: paper titled “Old Believers and Icons.”
  • Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, 43rd Annual National Convention, Washington, DC, USA, November 17-20, 2011: paper titled “The Concepts of ‘Schism’ and ‘Schismatic’ in the XVII – Beginning of XVIII Centuries: The Evolution of Meaning.”
  • Norwegian University Center in St. Petersburg, International Seminar “Orthodoxy in Russian Culture and Society.” St. Petersburg, Russia, May 26-29, 2010: paper titled “The Third Census of Population in 1761-1764 and the Old Believers of South Viatka: Towards the Question of Confessionalization in Russia.”