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

Mikhail Suslov ( Uppsala University, Sweden)

Magda Dolinska-Rydzek (Justus-Liebig University, Germany)

Alexander Ponomariov (University of Passau, Germany)

Hanna Staehle (University of Passau, Germany)

Irina Kotkina (Södertörn University, Sweden)

Panel abstract: Roundtable: Moral Panics in Russian New Media: Enter the Russian Orthodox Church

This is the proposal for the roundtable on moral panics in today's Russian digital communicative environment. It focuses on the intersection between religious motivation and the digital medium of moral panics, taking as cases in point debates about the League for Safe Internet established with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church in order to fight pedophiles online (Mikhail Suslov), discussions about moral concerns in the Orthodox sector of the Russian internet and beyond (Alexander Ponomariov), the controversy of homosexuals in the Russian Orthodox Church in relation to its take on homosexuals in general (Hanna Staehle), eschatological visions about coming of Antichrist in the Orthodoxy-motivated parts of the Russian internet (Magda Dolinska-Rydzek), and the Church-inspired scandal about opera performance of Tannhaeuser in Novosibirsk (Irina Kotkina).

Applying the concept of the 'moral panic', the roundtable will inquire into the processes of reinforcement of the Russian Orthodox Church's cultural hegemony in the Russian society by means of constructing threats and securitizing society's basic values. The roundtable will identify key actors in staging moral panics such as victims and 'perpetrators', and discuss specificities of 'panicking' in new media, paying special attention to the internet memes. Having this stated, the roundtable will address the central problems of how the social ethics of the Russian Orthodox Church is being developed today, how it is being negotiated in the public sphere and imposed on the grassroots, and finally we will arrive to a kind of understanding of the status of the Church vis-à-vis (post)secular Russian society.

The roundtable is the continuation of the project of the special journal issue of Digital Icons (www.digitalicons.com), devoted to the Russian Orthodox Church and new media.