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Communities of the Converted: Ukrainians and Global Evangelism (Culture and Society after Socialism)

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ISBN-13: 978-0801445927
ISBN-10: 0801445922
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wanner provides a fascinating entrée into contemporary Ukrainian culture by exploring evangelism's surprising resurgence in the chaotic crosswinds of post-Soviet life. . . . In subtle but lucid fashion, she plumbs the complex interactions that result when Western evangelism encounters Ukrainian ways, changing both; explores the thrust and meaning of conversion for the converted; weighs the impact of global ties on Ukrainian evangelism; and explains the unique success of Pentecostal movements in the country."―Robert Legvold, Foreign Affairs

"Catherine Wanner's study of evangelical churches in Ukraine is a wonderful addition to the growing body of literature dealing with religion in the former USSR. . . . She begins with a brief history of Evangelicals in the Soviet Ukraine, explains developments during the late 1980s and early 1990s when the USSR was dissolving, and finally surveys the contemporary scene. The author does all of this very well, but what makes the book especially significant is her careful attention to the dialectic between local and transnational dynamics, and the complex relationships of faith and public life in a desecularizing nation. As a result, this book becomes not merely an excellent introduction to evangelical Protestantism in Ukraine, but also a window into the complexities of contemporary Christianity around the world. Highly recommended."―Choice

"This book is carefully constructed to take account of the social and historical context of the Ukraine, not only in discussing Ukrainian evangelicals themselves but also in helping the reader understand the central role played by evangelism in their communities. . . . Among other things . . . it provides what is arguably the most comprehensive socio-historical account of Soviet Pentecostalism in the English language. . . . In all, this most illuminating study is essential reading for anyone interested in issues of globalization, social involvement, and Pentecostalism in Eastern Europe."―Allan Heaton Anderson, Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (Volume 33, 2011)



"In the course of the last century and a half, Ukraine has emerged as the major center of Protestantism in Eastern Europe; the mass emigration of Ukrainian Baptists and Pentecostals to the United States following the disintegration of the USSR made Ukrainian evangelism a truly international phenomenon. Communities of the Converted makes for stimulating reading―it is a fascinating example of research that combines history, anthropology, and the sociology of religion to discuss the experience of communities extending across different political cultures and religious and national traditions. Catherine Wanner discusses not only how religious communities adapted to changes in their political, cultural, and religious environment but also how they affected and changed that environment."―Serhii Plokhy, University of Alberta

"The rising prominence of Christianity in the former Soviet Union is one of the major stories on the global religious scene. Catherine Wanner has given us a fine, historically informed ethnographic portrait of this process, and in particular the role within it of evangelical Protestantism, in the Ukraine. Her book does much to help us understand how the upsurge of Christianity in this region has come about. Beyond that, it is also one of the very finest social scientific studies we have of the centrality of evangelism to the lives of many Christians. Wanner's rich and sensitive account of the way the evangelical impulse organizes the lives of Ukrainian converts (and those of the foreigners who missionize in their country) makes this superb book necessary reading for those in any discipline concerned with the nature and fate of global Christianity."―Joel Robbins, University of California, San Diego

From the Back Cover

"In the course of the last century and a half, Ukraine has emerged as the major center of Protestantism in Eastern Europe; the mass emigration of Ukrainian Baptists and Pentecostals to the United States following the disintegration of the USSR made Ukrainian evangelism a truly international phenomenon. Communities of the Converted makes for stimulating reading-it is a fascinating example of research that combines history, anthropology, and the sociology of religion to discuss the experience of communities extending across different political cultures and religious and national traditions. Catherine Wanner discusses not only how religious communities adapted to changes in their political, cultural, and religious environment but also how they affected and changed that environment."-Serhii Pokhy, University of Alberta

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Product Details

  • Series: Culture and Society after Socialism
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press (September 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801445922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801445927
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,393,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is an academic book based on Catherine's long-term study of Ukrainian Protestants in the Ukraine, U.S., and elsewhere. Catherine writes a moving history of their oppression under the Soviets and their continued moral rigor in post-Soviet times -- often in direct contrast to what the Ukrainians see as more lax American evangelicals. She also discusses their international evangelical role after the fall of the Soviet Union.

This is a well-crafted book in the Anthropology of Christianity, and I feel like it gave me a clear picture of one part of Christianity that you don't hear much about. Wanner also does a good job analysing (see pp140-168 or so) what leads to conversion and how communities are part of conversion. I'd also recommend the index as a good source for further reading on post-Soviet religion. Great ethnography!
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