The Religion in the Black Sea Region Working Group was founded in 2014 as part of several research projects housed at the University of St. Gallen. The Working Group sponsors an annual conference in Ukraine on the anthropological study of religion in the Black Sea region, a series of lectures at Ukrainian universities on the politics of religion, and publications on religion and religiosity in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The goal of the Working Group is to support the critical study of religion by developing dialogue between established scholars and young researchers on the myriad ways in which religious institutions, communities and spiritual practices influence socio-political change using ethnographic methods.
The Group encourages scholars to move beyond narrow nation-state or confessional frames and to consider more incisively how interconnections, encounters and divides shape religious practices and socio-political change more broadly. Some of the research themes that have been included in the Working Group's events and publications include: modes of secularity and religious (inter)subjectivities; debates over secularism, human rights and identities; the relevance of concepts such as political Orthodoxy, public religion, and political theology for the study of religion in this region; ethnographies of doubt, indifference, vernacular religion; and religion, faith and the making of public space.
The convener of the Religion in the Black Sea Region Working Group is Catherine Wanner, professor of anthropology and history at The Pennsylvania State University, and the coordinator is Tetiana Kalenychenko, a doctoral student at National Pedagogical Dragomanov University in Kyiv.
“Religion in the Black Sea Region” Annual Workshop: