Cult or Culture? Religious Revival and the Media in Post-Soviet Society

Fall 2019 Grant Recipient

Katia Dianina (Slavic Languages and Literatures)

My project analyzes the spectacular return of the sacred to post-Soviet Russian public sphere following seventy years of forced secularization.  Contemporary Russia provides one of the most striking examples of desecularization.  Russia’s conspicuous religious renaissance has been the focus of much coverage by the media, to the point that Russian national idea itself came to be represented in explicitly religious terms.  But I argue that this recent religious revival is also largely created by the media.  Public religion—understood as traditional religious symbols and meanings publicized within secular space—is the product of the mass media discourse on religious revival.