Victor Shnirelman


Chief Researcher, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

Alexander Herzen Senior Visiting Fellow
(January – June 2015)


Anti-Christ is Coming: Religion and Xenophobia in Contemporary Russia

The beginning of the 21st century was marked by a return of religion to Russian public life. Instead of leading to an improvement of moral standards, however, the Russian Orthodox Church’s interventions contributed to the growth of fundamentalism and intolerance. The time is ripe to ask what function religion has in the contemporary world, what pushes it to intolerance (if so), and how religion can be separated from politics. I will study these questions with a reference to Russian Orthodox Christians and their attitudes towards and interpretations of the popular prophecies about the arrival of the Anti-Christ.