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Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces: Religious Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Caucasus

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Volume 17

Space and Place

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Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces

Religious Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Caucasus

Edited by Tsypylma Darieva, Florian Mühlfried, & Kevin Tuite

246 pages, 26 illus., bilbiog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-782-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (February 2018)

eISBN 978-1-78533-783-3 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The book makes an important t and welcome contribution to our knowledge of the richness of religious activities in the Caucasus and their entanglements with church and state.” • JRAI

“There are a number of interesting subjects discussed in the contributions to this broadly based volume that usefully point to some fields of research around sacred places which could well do with further examination.” • JASO

Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces is a remarkable book that advances our understanding of the hybridity of the sacred and its interactions with the state in contexts where these relations are still extremely fluid.” • Europe-Asia Studies

“…the most striking feature of this volume is the role played by nonhuman actors, the shrines themselves... [It is] a dynamic ethnographic picture of a crucial moment of desecularization in a neglected area of the world.” • Reading Religion

“…a necessary book for researchers of religion in the Caucasus and beyond that for researching folk religiosity more generally. It is suitable for students as an introduction and is warmly recommended for all who are interested in the Caucasus.” • Religion & Gesellschaft in Ost und West

“This volume shares in a rich resurgence of writing on religious activity across the former Soviet Union and particularly in areas of the Caucasus, offering sharp insight into arguably one of the most popular religious traditions, shrine pilgrimage, about which we know surprisingly little. The editors have gathered the highly qualified scholars for the task, including a number of specialists from the Caucasus proper.” • Bruce Grant, New York University


Though long-associated with violence, the Caucasus is a region rich with religious conviviality. Based on fresh ethnographies in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation, Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces discusses vanishing and emerging sacred places in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious post-Soviet Caucasus. In exploring the effects of de-secularization, growing institutional control over hybrid sacred sites, and attempts to review social boundaries between the religious and the secular, these essays give way to an emergent Caucasus viewed from the ground up: dynamic, continually remaking itself, within shifting and indefinite frontiers.

Tsypylma Darieva is a senior research fellow at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) in Berlin and is teaching at Humboldt University Berlin. Her research and teaching interests include anthropology of migration, diaspora and homeland, urbanity, and sacred places in Central Eurasia. She has conducted fieldwork in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Germany. Darieva is the author of Russkij Berlin: Migranten und Medien in Berlin und London (LIT, 2004), co-editor of Cosmopolitan Sociability: Locating Transnational Religious and Diasporic Networks (Routledge, 2011), Urban Spaces after Socialism: Ethnographies of Public Places in Eurasian Cities (Campus, 2011) and of the forthcoming volume Sakralität und Mobilität in Südosteuropa und im Kaukasus.

Florian Mühlfried is a social anthropologist in the Caucasus Studies Program at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and a visiting professor at UNICAMP, Brazil. He has published the monograph Being a State and States of Being in Highland Georgia (Berghahn, 2014), a book on feasting in Georgia (ibidem, 2006), and edited the volume Mistrust: Ethnographic Approximations (Transcript, 2018).

Kevin Tuite is Professor of Anthropology at the Université de Montréal. He also directed the Caucasus Studies Program at the FSU-Jena from 2011 to 2014. His publications include Language, Culture and Society: Key Topics in Linguistic Anthropology (co-edited with Christine Jourdan) (Cambridge, 2006).

Subject: Anthropology (General)Anthropology of ReligionSociology
Area: AsiaCentral/Eastern Europe


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