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An online discussion “Christianity and nationalism in contemporary Central and Eastern Europe” will take place at 18:00 EET on December 1 (Tuesday). Discussion participants: Giuseppe Tateo, Klāvs Sedlenieks, and Agita Misāne.

The event will take place on Zoom. To join, please sign up here.

Each of the participants will offer a short reflection on the main theme of the discussion. In her presentation “Religions and Nationalisms—Exchange and Competition. A View from Latvia,” Agita Misāne will highlight how nationalist movements employ religious symbolism and religious sentiments with a particular reference to Latvian nationalism past and present. Klāvs Sedlenieks will offer insights into the topic “Christianity—the defining aspect of ethnic belonging in Montenegro,” suggesting that, in the case of Montenegro, religion is at the same time a uniting and dividing force as it—depending on political aspirations—allows one to feel more or less Serbian. In his reflection “Church-building as nation-building: new cathedrals in Central and Eastern Europe,” Giuseppe Tateo will compare five national cathedrals recently built in Bucharest, Moscow (2), Tbilisi and Warsaw, and argue that these major works celebrate the identification of the religion of the majority with the state and national belonging. The short presentations will be followed by a discussion and Q&A.

About the participants

Agita Misāne is a religious studies scholar with a PhD from the University of Latvia. She has published on the topic of religion and nationalism in the history of ideas in Latvia. Agita is currently the PI of the project “Memento Mori: End of Life, Death and Imagined Afterlife in the Contemporary Latvian Lifeworld.”

Klāvs Sedlenieks is a social anthropologist who has worked in Montenegro since the early 2000s and is particularly interested in political anthropology and the state. He is assistant professor at Rīga Stradiņš University and has published on such topics as corruption, peacefulness, gender and the state.

Giuseppe Tateo earned his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. He specialises in the anthropology of Orthodox Christianity and has conducted fieldwork in Romania and Moldova. His book “Under the Sign of the Cross: The People’s Salvation Cathedral and the Church-Building Industry in Postsocialist Romania” came out earlier this year.

Event language: English

The event is coorganised by Rīga Stradiņš University and the Latvian Association of Anthropologists.

online @ Zoom