Dr. Sergei Shtyrkov

Guest Researcher

Sergei Shtyrkov is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology at the European University at St. Petersburg and since September 2019 guest researcher at ZOiS. He is also Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Caucasian Studies at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences (Kunstkamera), St. Petersburg. He graduated with a degree in history from St. Petersburg State University and in ethnology from the European University (St Petersburg), where he also taught on field methods of social sciences, anthropology of religion and nationalism. In 2002, he defended his PhD thesis on historical folk legends of the Novgorod region at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow. In the same year, he received a position as a Research Fellow at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography and started his field research in North Ossetia.

Research interests

  • Ethnic and religious traditionalisms in connection with religion
  • Culture of new religious movements
  • Folk narratives studies

Research project

Different Versions of Religious Traditionalism in North Ossetia: Between Russian Orthodoxy and Ethnic Faith

The main aim of this project is to describe and analyse the public discussions in North Ossetia, to demonstrate how the views on social nature and functions of religion are changing in contemporary Russian national regions. For this, two religious groups in the region are examined closer: Ossetian nativists and Orthodox polemicists.

Furthermore, one emphasis of the project lies on what exactly religion is to them and what the “real” religion of the Ossetian people should be, according to those groups. Their discursive tools (academic, political, etc.) in public discussions are analysed, as well as the positions, which religious groups have to represent in order to participate in the public discourse.