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Spirits Offering Protection: The Cult of General Đoàn Thượng in Vietnam in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The article discusses the changes that have occurred in the ceremonies of the spirits cult in village communities of Vietnam during the COVID‑19 pandemic and offers a case study of General Đoàn Thượng’s (1181–1228) cult. I compare two ceremonies: commemoration of the General’s spirit in the temple in his native village in Hải Dương province on May 1, 2018 (my own fieldwork) and a closed ceremony in the same temple which were broadcasted on the Internet on April 8, 2020.

Torah against the Virus, Rabbis against the Government: Ultra-Orthodoxy Facing the Pandemic

The paper discusses a number of the most remarkable responses to the COVID‑19 pandemic and to the social isolation measures coming from several, mostly ultra‑Orthodox, Jewish communities in Israel, the United States, and Russia.

Piety, Authority and “Popular Ijtihad” in the Online Space of Russian Muslims during the Pandemic

This article examines the first reactions of the Russian Muslim com‑ munity in the social networks to the spread of the coronavirus (mostly February‑May 2020). We turn to the concepts of authority and legitimacy; the ideas of Brian Turner on the performative role of in‑ formation technology for the institution of religious authority; Gary Bunt’s discussion of the democratization of Islamic knowledge in the online environment; Olivier Roy’s concept of individualization of Islam; and Peter Mandaville’s idea of decentralization of power in the Islamic tradition.

“COVID Theology”, or the “Significant Storm” of the Coronavirus Pandemic

The article examines various theological aspects of the perception of the coronavirus pandemic in the global Orthodoxy in general and the Russian Orthodox Church in particular. Among other aspects, it touches upon issues pertinent to the practices of celebration and distribution of the Eucharist under the conditions of hygienic restrictions. It also explores Christological arguments in support of each practice. The article proposes some particular interpretations of both phenomenology and etiology of the so‑called Covid dissidence.

The Digitalization of Worship Practices during the Coronavirus Pandemic in the Context of the Mediatization of Orthodoxy

The article describes how the closure of churches during the Easter period due to the COVID‑19 pandemic and the quarantine measures led to the shift of everyday liturgical and communication practices to online forms. The experience of distance church life” in April‑June 2020 has shown that both the mediatization of Orthodoxy and the development of Orthodox segment of the internet reached a fundamentally new stage.

Resistance and Submission. Pandemic, Late Modern Epistemes, and Russian Orthodox Ethos

The article discusses the reactions within the Russian Orthodox Church to the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Based on materials from the press, religious and secular Internet‑resources and online forums, the article systematizes the variety of responses of Orthodox priests, laity and church leaders to the unprecedented interruption of liturgical cycle and church sociality in the period of sanitary restrictions.

Pandemic and Religion: Interpretations and Practices. Introduction

The Abortion in Soviet Russia During NEP: Official Propaganda versus Popular Attitudes

This paper studies the attitudes of the Soviet authorities and society towards the problem of abortion during the New Economic Policy (NEP). In the 1920s, communist ideologists and population still under influence of traditional values based on religious ethics (though often indifferent towards religion and Church) expressed extremely different views on the issue. Even religiously indifferent people used to take part in religious ceremonies such as weddings and christenings.

Sex, Abortion, and Infanticide: The Gulf between the Secular and the Divine

This paper critically explores key aspects of the gulf between Christian bioethics and the secular moral reflections that dominate contemporary bioethics. For example, in contrast to traditional Christian morality, the established secular bioethics judges extramarital sex acts among consenting persons, whether of the same or different sexes, as at least morally permissible, affirms sexual freedom for children to develop their own sexual identity, and holds the easy availability of abortion and infanticide as central to the liberty interests of women.

Moral Status of Human Embryo in Inter-Christian Context

The article offers an analysis of approaches of different Christian confessions to understanding of the moral status of human embryo in the context of modern biomedical developments. It compares challenges faced by the proponents of each denominational position and their arguments. According to documents and papers of the theologians there are at least three specific positions in relation to moral status of early human embryo: conservative, liberal and indefinite. The author focuses on arguments of such liberal Protestant authors as T. Peters, R. Cole-Turner and J.

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