The Theater of Heretics: Liturgies of Religious Dissenters in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy
Seventeenth Annual ACMRS Conference
Performance and Theatricality in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
10-12 February 2011
"The Theater of Heretics: Liturgies of Religious Dissenters in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy"
The 17th century witnessed the first mass movements of religious dissent in Russia as thousands of believers rejected the centralizing authority of Patriarch Nikon (r. 1652-58) and his successors. Many of these rebellious Christians rejected Nikon's liturgical reforms, which sought to make Russian practice conform to that of other Orthodox churches, especially the Church of Constantinople. In opposition to the official church, dissenters began to organize their own communities. Very quickly, however, the dissenters split among themselves over questions of ecclesiology, ritual, and eschatology. Both the official church and the chismatics who broke away from it expressed their faith in the liturgical performance of ritual, and each side mocked the other's rites. Drawing on ritual studies and on contemporary sources, this paper examines the role of liturgical performance in Russia's seventeenth-century schism.
This conference is cosponsored by Faculty of Religious Studies in the ASU School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies (SHPRS); the ASU Department of English; the ASU School of Human Evolution and Social Change; the ASU University College; the Center for Jewish Studies at ASU; and the University of Arizona Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Committee (UAMARRC).
For registration and other information contact: Audrey Walters at Audrey.Walters@asu.edu