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The Stalin Myth in the Religious and Para- Religious Discourses. P. 87–95

Версия для печати

Section: Philosophy, Sociology, Politology

UDC

291.13+94(47)

Authors

Prilutsky Aleksandr Mikhailovich
The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia; Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities
korp. 20, 48 nab. reki Moyki, St. Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation;
e-mail: alpril@mail.ru

Abstract

This article studies mythological interpretations of Joseph Stalin’s image in various religiously oriented discourses. The author analysed specific features of the interpretation of Stalin’s image in the war-time texts of Russian Orthodox Church hierarchs and current evaluations of Stalin’s image made by members of various religious organizations. The author also examined the issue of continuity of the Stalinist and prerevolutionary Russian imperial discourses, their hermeneutic models and interdiscursivity of their elements. The author argues that in the modern Russian religious discourse there coexist two modalities of the Stalin myth. Some marginal Orthodox communities have developed a myth of Stalin as a leader chosen by God and a spokesman of the idea of imperial power. The second modality implies an opposite opinion: Stalin is a demonic villain and the cause of all troubles and problems in the modern church life. This view is typical of some Protestant denominations who consider themselves as victims of persecution during the Soviet period. In this case, an appeal to the Stalin myth can help accomplish a number of apologetic tasks, such as: explain their lack of popularity by the continuing traumatic shock of Stalinist repression. Thus, it becomes clear why the Stalin myth today is firmly rooted in religious and marginal para-religious discourses: by appealing to the Stalin myth one can fulfil various pragmatic tasks, such as update and re-interpret the nostalgic imperial ideologemes, unite religious communities, and make possible social apologetics of certain denominations. This article was written as part of the semiotic and hermeneutical method in religious studies. To investigate the Stalin myth, the author used the methods of content analysis of mythological narrative texts, as well as concepts of ideological discourse and interdiscursivity.

Keywords

Stalin myth, imperial discourse, sacralization of power, modern mythology, modality
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