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The Pussy Riot Case and the Peculiarities of Russian Post-Secularism

Uzlaner, Dmitry

This article analyzes materials generated by and related to the Pussy Riot Trial, which was conducted in response to the scandalous “Punk Prayer” performed by the musical group on February 21, 2012 in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow. These materials are used to illustrate the peculiarities of the post-secular situation in Russia, focusing on two particular issues: 1) The “Punk Prayer” and the religious-secular boundary; 2) The “Punk Prayer” and post-secular hybrids. Uzlaner emphasizes that post-secularism does not follow a single pattern and has not led to a unified normative vision. To understand the post-secular situation, we should turn our attention to collisions between different normative models of post-secularism, each supported by its own actors and activists. The Pussy Riot case and its discussion in the public sphere allow us to single out two such models: the “pro- authority” (supported by state and Church leadership) and the “oppositional” (supported by the political opposition and opposition within the Church).

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