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Soteriology of Suffering: Evangelical Christians in Russia and the Trauma of Political Repression

1
Institute of Sociology, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 119991, Russia
2
Department of Political Science, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Moscow 125993, Russia
3
Perm Federal Research Center, Ural division, Russian Academy of Sciences, 614990 Perm, Russia
4
Department of History and Philosophy, Perm State Agricultural University, 614066 Perm, Russia
5
Luther King House Open College, Manchester M14 5JP, UK
6
Research Chair for Historical Trauma and Transformation, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Religions 2020, 11(11), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110591
Received: 26 September 2020 / Revised: 3 November 2020 / Accepted: 5 November 2020 / Published: 9 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Religions and Humanities/Philosophies)
This article, based on 60 in-depth interviews with the descendants of survivors of political repression, aims at finding out how making sense of a collective traumatogenic experience differs in the case of Evangelical (Baptist and Pentecostal) communities compared with the rest of the cohort. The authors conclude that, in the case of people without religious affiliation, an intergenerational memory transmission mechanism is absent; descendants up to the fifth generation envision the suffering of their ancestors as accidental and meaningless for the present and future. As a result, most descendants refuse to participate in the process of trauma creation. Alternatively, in the final master narrative of the Pentecostals and Baptists, the persecution was an inevitable result of faith. Evangelical descendants construct cultural trauma around a providential event needed to ensure individual salvation and to prevent secularization of the church; for them suffering remains meaningful for the present and future. This allows for the transformation of the stigma that was spoiling their collective identity into a badge of honor, into stigmata, revealing that these believers follow the way of Christ. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultural trauma; political repression; Evangelicals; Baptists; Pentecostals cultural trauma; political repression; Evangelicals; Baptists; Pentecostals
MDPI and ACS Style

Mitrofanova, A.; Riazanova, S.; Benda, R. Soteriology of Suffering: Evangelical Christians in Russia and the Trauma of Political Repression. Religions 2020, 11, 591. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110591

AMA Style

Mitrofanova A, Riazanova S, Benda R. Soteriology of Suffering: Evangelical Christians in Russia and the Trauma of Political Repression. Religions. 2020; 11(11):591. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110591

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mitrofanova, Anastasia, Svetlana Riazanova, and Richard Benda. 2020. "Soteriology of Suffering: Evangelical Christians in Russia and the Trauma of Political Repression" Religions 11, no. 11: 591. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11110591

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