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.

Evgeny Grishin:

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.