Sermons in Religious and Cultural Politics and Practice in Russia and Europe in the Eighteenth—Early Nineteenth Centuries

  • 26.08.2016 - 27.08.2016
  • German Historical Institute in Moscow, ulitsa Vorontsovskaya, 8/7 (metro station Taganskaya/Marksistskaya)

Summer School

Organizers: Ekaterina Kislova (MSU), Denis Sdvižkov (DHI Moskau), Ss Cyril and Methodius School of Post-Graduate and Doctoral Studies (

Preaching takes pride of place in cultural and religious communication of the eighteenth-early nineteenth centuries both in Russia and in Europe. Not only does this genre convey various “scenarios of power” (in R. Wortman’s terminology) from the state to its subjects, but it also provides the Church with an unmediated means of explicating its own standpoint. At the same time, this genre allows a preacher to realize his full creative potential, assert his individual position and rhetorical strategies, express his attitude to hot topics, make known his life experience, political stance, and so on. The sermon also reflects the history of literary language, society’s cultural concepts, and the situation of cultural and linguistic interaction. Thus, we consider preaching and the sermon from the following perspectives:

1) The sermon as a phenomenon of lay and religious culture in different countries;
2) The sermon as a medium and a “communication channel” for various social groups;
3) The sermon as a source for the study of diverse aspects of cultural, social, and religious practices current in the eighteenth-early nineteenth centuries;
4) The sermon as a text: the language and languages of preaching, preachers’ rhetorical and linguistic strategies;
5) The sermon and preachers in the history and culture of the eighteenth-early nineteenth centuries.

Our summer school aims to ascertain the potential of interdisciplinary approaches to sermons, discuss how to study these texts and their role in history and culture, and learn more about the methods used by Western and Russian specialists in disciplines such as philology, cultural studies, philosophy, and the history of religion. An exchange between researchers studying sermons in the framework of different disciplines and methodologies is bound to yield new material and new ways to study this material.

The following activities are planned for the summer school:
1) Lectures by distinguished Russian and international researchers presenting various contemporary methodologies and approaches used in history, philology, cultural studies, and the history of religion;
2) Papers by summer school participants;
3) Participation in a roundtable as a listener or a speaker (for listeners, registration is available before the start of the summer school).

To enroll in the summer school, please email the following information to Ekaterina Kislova ( or Denis Sdvizkov ( by May 1, 2016:
1. Your last name, first name, patronymic,
2. Place of work/ study and position,
3. Desired form of participation (lecturer / presenter / listener), and
4. Working languages.

To propose a paper or a lecture, please submit the following:
1. The title or topic of your presentation,
2. An abstract of up to 500 words,
3. A list of your publications on this topic (if none yet, please indicate those currently in print). Undergraduate and graduate students may also indicate the topics of successfully defended theses.
4. In addition, students are required to include the name, affiliation, and position of their supervisor and his/her e-mail.

The key dates of the event:
Submissions are due on May 1, 2016.
Participants will be informed on June, 1, 2016.
The summer school’s program will be published on July 1, 2016.
The summer school will take place on August 26-27, 2016.