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Grant number like: FB-53776-08

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Vera Shevzov
Smith College (Northampton, MA 01063-6304)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010

Marian Devotion and Religious Life in Modern Russia

The proposed project exmaines a powerful and enduring symbol in Russia's religious, political, and social histories. Informed by scholarship in religion and visual culture, ritual studies, and visual piety, the study has two main aims: (1) to investigate the various meanings of Mary in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in order to understand the critical role her image played in the formation of modern Orthodox identities in Russia; and (2) to trace the subsequent reemergence of Mary's image in public Orthodox discourse in the post-Soviet setting.The study will contribute to the humanities by redressing the serious shortage of scholarly studies focusing on non-western forms of Christianity; by contributing to a comparative understanding of the Marian symbol in Christian communities, and by exploring theoretical questions involving sacred language and visual culture with respect to such issues as memory and history, national and religious identities, marriage and family.