Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Alexey Gaidukov (Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St.Petersburg)

The Quarter-Century Dynamics of the Russian Neo-Paganism (Rodnoverie)

Russian neopaganism (Rodnoverie) is a multi-faceted religious and socio-political phenomenon, constructed pre-Christian worldview, beliefs and rituals, based on the Russian (Slavic) culture. In the late Soviet years, it was a response to totalitarianism and attempt to go beyond the atheist policy of the Party. During perestroika neo-paganism has become one of the ways of alternative non-denominational spirituality, connected to protest ideology of anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity and with the ideas of anti-globalization, ecology and ethnic mysticism on the other hand. In the early 2000s Rodnoverie takes ideological mix and "specialisation" of communities in consecutive moderate ethnic nationalists, radical skinheads, ethnic separatists and supporters of the power of the Russian Empire. Leaders of environmental and mystical religious movements works on a detailed rituals and prayers, reinforcing its credibility not only dubious pseudo-historical texts, but also redefined scientific publications. Simultaneously there were quotations in New Age style and numerous essays on pseudoscientific folk medicine and popular linguistics, which help to shape a common symbolic and mythological space for different directions of neo-paganism. The development of information technology and the Internet have allowed Rodnovers quickly share experience in ceremonies and borrow magical and meditative techniques from other ethnic cultures, as well as European and American. The appearance of new young neo-pagans led to a kind of Rodnoverie's intergenerational stratification. Their needs for additional accessories and gadgets, as well as differences of cultural and mystical aspirations, sometimes began to disperse with the accumulated religious experience of the older generation of 50-60-year-old neo-pagans. Youth Rodnover communities increase the neopagan variety in Russia. Also let's pay attention to the separation among the neo-pagans, which took place against the background of the Ukrainian events. Some of them moved to the Pan-Slavic anti-government positions, while others shifted from anti-state to pro-Russian ideology.