History of Russia’s Religions
This course will investigate the history of diverse religious experiences in the territory of Russia, including not only the Russian Orthodox Church, but also other Christian denominations, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and indigenous traditions. Starting from pre-Christian beliefs of Eastern Slavs and their Finno-Ugric, Nordic, and Turkic neighbors, we will trace the development of religious traditions over the wide territory of Eurasia up to the present. In addition to weekly lectures, students will examine primary sources and current scholarship on the issues. The purpose of the course is twofold: to demonstrate the complex and dynamic picture of religious life in Russia’s past and present, as well as to introduce students to the academic study of religion.