Antichrist in the Vernacular Context: Imagining Technologies in Southern Siberia

Event time: 
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Anthroplogy Building (SACH010) See map
10 Sachem Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Event description: 

Southern Siberia is one of the regions in the world where infrastructural development strongly depends on the efforts of the local communities. From this point of view, the ideologies and notions of the locals are crucial for understanding of what social-technological configurations are produced in the region and why. Specifically, I focus on Siberian communities of the Russian Old Believers who rely on different technologies and equipment for survival in severe conditions of taiga and mountains. The Russian Old Believers is a group of Eastern Christians that emerged as an opposition to religious reforms within the Russian Orthodox Church in the mid XVII century. While technology is largely exploited, the members of this religious group strongly associate it with a so-called world of Antichrist. Operating with different gadgets is problematic to the Old Believers – though they need to use them in order to make a living, they still think of such objects as dangerous to their souls. My paper discusses usage of certain technological devices by the Old Believers, and their interpretations in the eschatological terms. I suggest that technical specifications of various devices serve as mediators of religious emotions and experiences.
Location: 10 Sachem Street, Room 105
Department of Anthropology
Ethnography and Social Theory Colloquium, Department of Anthropology
Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
Carnegie Corporation

Open to: 
General Public