24.–26. maini toimub Tartu Ülikoolis teaduskonverents „Vanausk Venemaal ja välismaal: praegused küsimused teadusuuringutes”.
Old Believers, Modern Times
In one of the most dramatic events in 17th-century European history, Russian Orthodoxy split into two groups: one, the Old Believers, stood in defence of ancient Russian rituals and customs that the other, the official Orthodox Church, sought to reform and correct. Persecuted by church and state, the Old Believers fled in all directions. Some ended up in the Baltic, especially on the shores of Lake Peipsi, while others ran deep into the Russian interior, taking refuge in the Ural mountains. Over the course of centuries, these Old Believer groups, split in twain by distance but united by devotion to holy tradition, interacted with the societies around them, thereby evolving in distinct and dynamic ways. In the Baltic, Old Believer groups have played a considerable role in the religious landscape of the region; in the Urals, they not only had a tremendous effect on urban life and industrialisation, but also left a huge legacy of ornate manuscripts. These texts are today housed by the Laboratory of Archaeographical Studies at Ural Federal University (UrFU), making it one of the world’s premier centres of Old Believer research.
For the first time ever, the University of Tartu and UrFU have come together to hold a joint conference that will unite the academics and believers representing these two distant relatives in the family of Old Belief. Organised by Dr Irina Paert (Tartu), Dr Irina Pochinskaia (UrFU), and Dr James White (Tartu/UrFU), the conference (“Old Belief in Russia and Abroad: Current Issues in Research”) will host participants from Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and elsewhere to discuss the historical and modern issues of Old Belief. On the one hand, the conference will feature scholarly papers on a wide number of subjects, ranging from the views of the early 20th-century British adventurer Stephen Graham to the beauties of Old Believer manuscript ornamentation, from the fractious debates held in late 19th-century Old Believer councils to the family structures of Old Believers in the 21st century. On the other, the representatives of Old Believer communities in Estonia and Latvia will come together to discuss the questions that have confronted and continue to confront Old Belief in the modern world.
To be held from 24 to 26 May, the conference will take place in the main building of the University of Tartu: papers will be given in Russian and English. All interested in listening and asking questions are welcome. If you have any enquiries, please email Dr Paert at irina [ät] paert.com.
This conference is being held with the financial support of the University of Tartu, grant PHVUS 18916.