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National Monumentalization and the Politics of Scale: The Resurrections of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow

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Abstract:

This paper analyzes the link between the changing geographical scale of dominant ideologies in Russian society and the architectural scales of different versions of the preeminent national monument, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The history of this process of national monumentalization in Russia is profiled by focusing on mutual influences between processes at these two scales, and the interplay between the state, society, and the Russian Orthodox Church. Within the context of the new Cathedral, ongoing but nevertheless underestimated pre-Soviet and post-Soviet antireligious practices are revealed through an analysis of the politics of scale that shaped the monumentos meanings at different historical periods. Thus, the paper also attempts to contribute to the understanding of the importance of scale in politicogeographical studies.

Keywords: Moscow; Russia; Russian Orthodox Church; Soviet Union; geographical scale; national monuments; post-Soviet politics; the Cathedral of Christ the Savior

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0004-5608.00208

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of South Carolina

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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