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Women on the Fault Lines of Faith: Pussy Riot and the Insider/Outsider Challenge to Post-Soviet Orthodoxy

Author:

Vera Shevzov

Smith College, US
About Vera
Professor, Department of Religion, Smith College. Supported at various stages by the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research and the National Endowment for the Humanities, my current research focuses on the political, social, cultural and religious uses of the image of Mary, the Mother of God, in modern and post-Soviet Russia.
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Abstract

This article examines the explosive reaction to ‘Punk Prayer’ as a religious act. It argues that the power of the performance as iconoclash resulted from the fact that it tapped, resonated with, and disturbed Russia’s Orthodox culture through its appropriation of Orthodox sound, space, and symbols – namely, the image of Mary, the Mother of God. The perceived position of its performers as insiders or outsiders to Orthodoxy, the evaluation of the sincerity of Punk Prayer as prayer, and the paradoxical role that gender played in shaping these perceptions contributed to the tumultuous response.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.9398
How to Cite: Shevzov, V., (2014). Women on the Fault Lines of Faith: Pussy Riot and the Insider/Outsider Challenge to Post-Soviet Orthodoxy. Religion and Gender. 4(2), pp.121–144. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.9398
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Published on 21 Dec 2014.
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