Occasional Paper: Mikeshin, “Russian Evangelicalism Glocalized”

Russian Evangelicalism Glocalized
Igor Mikeshin (University of Helsinki)

This paper echoes the idea of glocalization of Evangelical Christianity, suggested by Joel Robbins (2004). Robbins marks two simultaneous processes in Pentecostalism and Charismatic (P/C) Christianity as Westernizing homogenization and indigenizing differentiation. I suggest that Russian Evangelicalism’s relation to the Russian culture is glocal in a similar way: “a relationship of both rejection and preservation.” (Robbins 2004: 137) Russian Evangelical congregations, as well as P/C, are also to a great extent autonomous, egalitarian, and focused on evangelism.

Although I place Russian Evangelicalism in the Robbins’ model, there are remarkable differences between those two phenomena, constructing a distinct narrative of glocalization. These differences go beyond denominational features, or even explicit display of the Holy Spirit by P/C, and they rise from the dogmatics. Firstly, the emphasis on the direct interaction with God was spread through the vast activity of P/C missionaries. Initially it took form of planting and growing churches by the Western ministers, which can be also seen in Russia after 1991. However, Russian Evangelical groups, even Pentecostals, originated from the spiritual endeavors of certain Russian intellectuals, most remarkably Ivan Voronaev (Pentecostal) and Ivan Prokhanov (Evangelical Christian). They brought Western teachings to Russia, interpreted and transformed them on the basis of the Russian Bible, and constructed the narrative of response to the Orthodox spiritual monopoly and Russian sociocultural context.

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Roudometof, “The Glocalisations of Eastern Orthodox Christianity”

Roudometof, Victor (2012) “The Glocalisations of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.” European Journal of Social Theory.  ISSUE AND VOLUME NOT AVAILABLE, ONLINE PREPUBLICATION.

Abstract: This article introduces the notion of multiple glocalizations as a means of analysing Christianity’s historical record and argues that multiple glocalizations are constitutive of the intertwining between religion and historical globalization. It proposes that four concrete forms of glocalization can be observed: vernacularization, indigenization, nationalization and transnationalization. Each of these offers different combinations of universal religiosity and local particularism. The salience of this interpretation is demonstrated through a cursory analysis of the historical record of Christianity’s fragmentation. It is argued that the very construction of distinct religious traditions (Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism) is an expression of this broader process. Finally, the historical record of Eastern Orthodox Christianity is examined in order to provide for additional historical instances of these forms of glocalization.