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Eugene Clay

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Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Assoc Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Faculty Affiliate
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 4302
Biography

Having been raised in New Orleans and Boston, Eugene Clay taught Russian history for several years at universities in Illinois and Colorado. In 1993 he began teaching religious studies at Arizona State University, where he writes and lectures about religious movements in Russia and Eurasia, the relationship between religion and nationalism, and the encounters of the world religions. He has received honors, grants, and awards from the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Slavic Honors Society, and the International Research and Exchanges Board. He serves as president of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture. He also is an affiliate of the Melikian Center, the Center for Jewish Studies, the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.

Professor Clay’s research program, focused on the significance of religion in Russia and the former USSR, seeks to integrate Eurasia into the broader scholarly conversation about religion by addressing three major themes. First, he explores the religious vision that animates ordinary people and the ways that they express their faith in art, poetry, and social action. His work has focused on the activities of dissenters and virtuosi, who often advance new ideas or new practices into the religious field. Second, he analyzes the ways religious institutions (such as the Russian Orthodox Church) constantly define and redefine themselves, especially when they become deeply involved in advancing or resisting an imperial enterprise. Finally, he is especially interested in religious encounters between radically different societies on geographical and theological frontiers.

Education
  • Ph.D. History, University of Chicago 1989
  • A.M. History, University of Chicago 1982
  • A.B. History, University of Chicago 1981
Videos
Introduction to the Academic Study of Religion
Publications

EDITED VOLUMES

3. Clay, J. Eugene, ed. Contact, Conflict, and Crisis in Eastern Christianity. Special Issue of Canadian American Slavic Studies. Forthcoming 2019.

2. Clay, J. Eugene, ed. Beasts, Humans, and Transhumans in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, forthcoming 2019.

1. Clay, John Eugene; Martin, Russell E.; Skinner, Barbara, eds.  Centers and Peripheries: Interaction and Exchange in Eastern Christianity.  2 vols. Special Issue of Russian History/ Histoire Russe. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

PEER-REVIEWED ARTICLES

23. “The Apocalyptic Legacy of Pseudo-Ephraem in Russia: The Sermon on the Antichrist.” In Catastrophes and the Apocalyptic, ed. Robert Bjork, 181-198. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2019.  

22. “Religious Liberty in the Russian Federation after 1997.” In Minority Religions in Europe and the Middle East, ed. George D. Chryssides, 142-61. INFORM Series. London: Routledge, 2018. ISBN 978-1472463609.

21. “Religious Freedom, the Religious Market, and Spiritual Entrepreneurship in Russia after 1997.”  In Religious Freedom in Modern Russia, ed. Randall A. Poole and Paul W. Werth, 182-213. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018. ISBN: 9780822945499

20. “Drama in the Service of Orthodoxy: Dimitrii of Rostov’s Theatrical Investigation of the Schism.” In Performance and Theatricality in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Mark I. Cruse, 189-207. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and Renaissance 41. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2018. ISBN 978-2-503-57987-0.

19. “Marian Revelations in the Russian Context: The Cosmopolitics of Blessed John,” Nova Religio 21, no. 2 (November 2017): 26-42. DOI: 10.1525/nr.2017.21.2.26

18. “The ‘Quaker Heresy’ in Siberia.” Canadian-American Slavic Studies 51, no. 1 (2017): 122-136. DOI: 10.1163/22102396-05101005.

17. “Three Perspectives on Russian Pilgrims.” Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 30/31 (2014-2015): 373-81.

16. “Multiculturalism and Religious Education in the Russian Federation: The Fundamentals of Religious Cultures and Secular Ethics.” State, Religion, and Church (March 2015): 44-74, http://srch.ranepa.ru/node/482.

15. “A Religious Innovator in Paris: Mother Maria (Skobtsova, 1891-1945).” Women in French Studies (2014): 179-89.

14. “Jewish Studies in Contemporary St. Petersburg.” Scripta Judaica Cracoviensia 11 (2013): 47-53. http://doi.org/10.4467/20843925SJ.13.005.1301.

13. Martin, Russell E.; Skinner, Barbara J.; Clay, J. Eugene; "Centers and Peripheries in Eastern Christianity: An Introduction." Russian History: Histoire russe 40, no. 1 (2013): 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1163/18763316-04001001.

12. “Russian Spiritual Christianity and the Closing of the Black-Earth Frontier: The First Heresy Trials of the Dukhobors in the 1760s.” Russian History 40 (2013): 221-43. https://doi.org/10.1163/18763316-04002005.

11. “Traders, Vagabonds, Incarnate Christs, and Pilgrims: The Religious Network of Danilo Filippov, 1650-1850.” Poverty and Prosperity in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Anne Scott and Cynthia Kosso, 225-39. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Turnhout: Brepols, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1484/M.ASMAR-EB.1.101064.

10. “The Woman Clothed in the Sun: Pacifism and Apocalyptic Discourse among Russian Spiritual Christian Molokan-Jumpers.” Church History 80, no. 1 (March 2011): 109-138. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009640710001587.

9. “The Predecessors of Patriarch Aleksandr (Kalinin) of the Russian Ancient Orthodox Church: Archbishops Nikola (Pozdnev) and Stefan (Rastorguev).” Gumanitarnye issledovaniia Vnutrennei Azii [Humanities Research of Inner Asia], no. 2-3 (2008): 90-98.

8. “Mapping the Limits of Orthodoxy: Russian Orthodox Missionary Encounters in Perm' Diocese, 1828-1912.”  Russian History/Histoire Russe 35, no. 1-2 (2008): 113-28. https://doi.org/10.1163/187633108X00201.

7. "An Old Believer Monastery on the Volga: The Cheremshan Monastic Complex, 1820-1925."  Slavonica 7, no. 2 (2001): 9-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/sla.2001.7.2.9.

6. "The Church of the Transfiguring Theotokos and the Discourse of Russian Nationalism, 1984-99."  Nova Religio 3, no. 2 (April 2000): 320-49. https://doi.org/10.1525/nr.2000.3.2.320.

5. "Russian Israel."  Communal Societies 18 (1998): 81-91.

4. "Apocalypticism in the Russian Borderlands: Inochentie (Levizor, 1875-1917) and His Moldovan Followers."  Religion, State and Society 26, nos. 3/4 (1998): 251-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09637499808431829.

3. "Literary Images of the Russian 'Flagellants,' 1861-1905." Russian History/ Histoire russe 24, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 425-39. https://doi.org/10.1163/187633197X00212.

2. "The Theological Origins of the Christ-Faith [Khristovshchina]." Russian History, 15, no. 1 (Spring 1988): 21‑41. https://doi.org/10.1163/187633188X00032.

1. "God's People in the Early Eighteenth Century: The Uglich Affair of 1717." Cahiers du Monde russe et soviétique, 26, no. 1 (January-March 1985): 69-124. https://doi.org/10.3406/cmr.1985.2034.

Research Activity

Professor Clay’s research program, focused on the significance of religion in Russia and the former USSR, seeks to integrate Eurasia into the broader scholarly conversation about religion by addressing three major themes. First, he explores the religious vision that animates ordinary people and the ways that they express their faith in art, poetry, and social action. His work has focused on the activities of dissenters and virtuosi, who often advance new ideas or new practices into the religious field. Second, he analyzes the ways religious institutions (such as the Russian Orthodox Church) constantly define and redefine themselves, especially when they become deeply involved in advancing or resisting an imperial enterprise. Finally, he is especially interested in religious encounters between radically different societies on geographical and theological frontiers.

Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 100Religions of the World
REL 107Religion and Globalization
REL 492Honors Directed Study
REL 599Thesis
REL 792Research
REL 799Dissertation
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 207Ritual, Symbol, and Myth
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 405Problems in Religious Studies
REL 599Thesis
REL 792Research
REL 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 307Religion: Theory and Practice
REL 494Special Topics
REL 501Research Mthds-Religious Study
REL 599Thesis
REL 792Research
REL 799Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 405Problems in Religious Studies
REL 494Special Topics
REL 598Special Topics
REL 792Research
REL 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 207Ritual, Symbol, and Myth
REL 301Comparative Mysticism
REL 494Special Topics
REL 792Research
REL 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SGS 343Rel,Nationalism&Ethnic Conflct
REL 371New Testament
REL 379Rel/Nationalism/Ethnic Conflct
REL 493Honors Thesis
REL 593Applied Project
REL 792Research
REL 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 301Comparative Mysticism
REL 371New Testament
REL 492Honors Directed Study
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 207Ritual, Symbol, and Myth
REL 371New Testament
REL 493Honors Thesis
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
REL 371New Testament
REL 379Rel/Nationalism/Ethnic Conflct
REL 492Honors Directed Study