Jarrett Zigon

in “HIV Is God's Blessing”

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780520267626
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948327 | DOI:

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This chapter closely analyzes some of the specific ways in which persons ethically work on themselves to achieve the primary goal of enchurchment in the Church-run program. In doing so rehabilitants try to make themselves into new moral persons, the even partial success of which constitutes them as responsible subjects and as such participants in the gradual remaking of a new moral Russia. Many of these techniques have much in common with secular therapeutics. Two techniques that are solidly in the Orthodox tradition are analyzed: prayer and confession. While prayer and confession are central to the therapeutic process, the cultivation of what Russians call a normal person capable of living a normal life constitutes the majority of the therapeutic regime of the Church-run program. To a great extent much of this cultivation process is related to Orthodox moral theology and human rights. These also contribute to the cultivation of normal persons as responsible subjects capable of living in a new Russia increasingly defined by a neoliberal discursive regime of radically decentralized self-responsibility and discipline.

Keywords: enchurchment; confession; neoliberal discursive regime; Orthodox moral theology; human rights

Chapter.  13513 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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