HIV is God's Blessing: Rehabilitating Morality in Neoliberal Russia

HIV is God's Blessing: Rehabilitating Morality in Neoliberal Russia


By (author) Jarrett Zigon

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Paperback | 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 20mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 16 December 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520267648
  • ISBN 13: 9780520267640
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 489,890

Product description

This provocative study examines the role of today's Russian Orthodox Church in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Russia has one of the fastest-growing rates of HIV infection in the world - 80 per cent from intravenous drug use - and the Church remains its only resource for fighting these diseases. Jarrett Zigon takes the reader into a Church-run treatment center where, along with self-transformational and religious approaches, he explores broader anthropological questions - of morality, ethics, what constitutes a 'normal' life, and who defines it as such. Zigon argues that this rare Russian partnership between sacred and political power carries unintended consequences: even as the Church condemns the influence of globalization as the root of the problem it seeks to combat, its programs are cultivating citizen-subjects ready for self-governance and responsibility, and better attuned to a world the Church ultimately opposes.

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Author information

Jarrett Zigon is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of Morality: An Anthropological Perspective and Making the New Post-Soviet Person: Moral Experience in Contemporary Moscow.

Review quote

"A provocative and clearly argued work." Somatosphere 20110725 "This is a fascinating book on an important topic." -- Erin Koch Slavic Review 20120306

Table of contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Part I: Backgrounds 1. HIV, Drug Use, and the Politics of Indifference 2. The Church's Rehabilitation Program 3. The Russian Orthodox Church, HIV, and Injecting Drug Use 4. Moral and Ethical Assemblages 5. Synergeia and Simfoniia: Orthodox Morality, Human Rights, and the State 6. Working on the Self Part II: Practices 7. Enchurchment 8. Cultivating a Normal Life 9. Normal Sociality: Obshchenie and Controlling Emotions 10. Disciplining Responsibility: Labor and Gender Some Closing Words Notes References Index