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Violence and New Religious Movements$
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James R. Lewis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735631.001.0001

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Modern Pagan Warriors

Modern Pagan Warriors

Violence and Justice in Rodnoverie

(p.231) 11 Modern Pagan Warriors
Violence and New Religious Movements

Kaarina Aitamurto

Oxford University Press

The study of contemporary Slavic paganism in Russia, Rodnoverie, has tended to focus on the ultranationalist, racist, and anti-Semitic features of the movement. Rodnoverie is, however, an extremely heterogeneous movement, and, as several recent studies show, there are also those who renounce aggressive nationalism. Furthermore, the most radical Rodnovers form a relatively small minority within the movement and are excluded from the mainstream organizations. This chapter analyzes Rodnoverie morality and perceptions of the usage and justification of violence, as well as the idea of the [Capitalize ‘Pagan’] as a “warrior.” While liberal Rodnovers emphasize the interconnectedness of life and the ethic of reciprocity, in xenophobic interpretations “justice” easily turns into aggression and a scapegoat mentality. Additionally, the way “confrontation” is understood varies within the movement. It can range from a pacifist conviction to the acceptance of the law of “an eye for an eye.”

Keywords:   paganism, Russia, Rodnoverie, racist violence, social justice

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