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Models of Personal Conversion in Russian cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries

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Edited By Jens Herlth and Christian Zehnder

This volume offers a view of modern Russian intellectual culture as shaped by the dynamic of conversions. The individual contributions examine a rich variety of personal conversions occurring in a culture in which the written word enjoyed a privileged status and, historically, was closely linked to the sacred. However, the essays presented go beyond the original meaning of conversion as a change of religious beliefs. They address shifts in style, aesthetic outlooks, and mindsets, political and ideological transfigurations as well as religious conversions in the true sense of the term.
Whether at the level of culture, society or biography, the study of conversions opens the way to profound reflections about questions of identity, cultural ruptures, and continuity. The awareness of former conversions and the possible «convertibility» of one’s own ideological, spiritual or social stance has been among the central traits of Russian intellectual culture during the last two centuries.
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INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES ON CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Edited by Christian Giordano, Nicolas Hayoz & Jens Herlth

This series focuses on the political, economic and cultural changes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It offers a platform for inter-disciplinary research on this multifaceted part of the world. The focus lies mainly on current and recent developments in societies and political systems; but research on cultural and historical backgrounds has its place here, too. The range of disciplines includes political science, history, and social anthropology, but also philosophy, cultural studies, and literary criticism. The articles are written in English.

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