Description : This volume explores the relationship between new media and religion, focusing on the digital era’s impact on the Russian Orthodox Church. A believer may now enter a virtual chapel, light a candle through drag-and-drop, send an online prayer request, or worship virtual icons and relics. In recent years, however, Church leaders and public figures have become increasingly skeptical about new media. The internet, some of them argue, breaches Russia’s “spiritual sovereignty” and implants values and ideas alien to Russian culture. This collection examines how Orthodox ecclesiology has been influenced by its new digital environment, such as the intersection of virtual religious life with religious experience in the “real” church, the role of clerics on the Russian Web, and the transformation of the Orthodox notion of sobornost’ (catholicity), asking whether and how Orthodox activity on the internet can be counted as authentic religious practice.
Description : In recent years, the Russian Orthodox Church has become a more prominent part of post-Soviet Russia. A number of assumptions exist regarding the Church’s relationship with the Russian state: that the Church has always been dominated by Russia’s secular elites; that the clerics have not sufficiently fought this domination and occasionally failed to act in the Church’s best interest; and that the Church was turned into a Soviet institution during the twentieth century. This book challenges these assumptions. It demonstrates that church-state relations in post-communist Russia can be seen in a much more differentiated way, and that the church is not subservient, very much having its own agenda. Yet at the same time it is sharing the state’s, and Russian society’s nationalist vision. The book analyses the Russian Orthodox Church’s political culture, focusing on the Putin and Medvedev eras from 2000. It examines the upper echelons of the Moscow Patriarchate in relation to the governing elite and to Russian public opinion, explores the role of the church in the formation of state religious policy, and the church’s role within the Russian military. It discusses how the Moscow Patriarchate is asserting itself in former Soviet republics outside Russia, especially in Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus. It concludes by re-emphasising that, although the church often mirrors the Kremlin’s political preferences, it most definitely acts independently.
Description : Church-state relations during the Soviet period were much more complex and changeable than is genraly assumed. From the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 until the 21st Party Congress in 1961, the Communist regime's attitude toward the Russian Orthodox Church zigzagged from indifference and opportunism to hostility and repression. Taking advantage of new access to previously closed archives, historian Tatiana Chumachenko has documented the political, social, and human dramas of church-state relations during these decades. The rich material covered here appears in no previously published church history. It also has contemporary relevance, providing essential background to the post-Soviet Russian government's controversial relationship to the Russian Orthodox Church today.
Description : In the post-Soviet period morality became a debatable concept, open to a multitude of expressions and performances. From Russian Orthodoxy to Islam, from shamanism to Protestantism, religions of various kinds provided some of the first possible alternative moral discourses and practices after the end of the Soviet system. This influence remains strong today. Within the Russian context, religion and morality intersect in such social domains as the relief of social suffering, the interpretation of history, the construction and reconstruction of traditions, individual and social health, and business practices. The influence of religion is also apparent in the way in which the Russian Orthodox Church increasingly acts as the moral voice of the government. The wide-ranging topics in this ethnographically based volume show the broad religious influence on both discursive and everyday moralities. The contributors reveal that although religion is a significant aspect of the various assemblages of morality, much like in other parts of the world, religion in postsocialist Russia cannot be separated from the political or economic or transnational institutional aspects of morality.
Description : Russian Society and the Orthodox Church examines the Russian Orthodox Church's social and political role and its relationship to civil society in post-Communist Russia. It shows how Orthodox prelates, clergy and laity have shaped Russians' attitudes towards religious and ideological pluralism, which in turn have influenced the ways in which Russians understand civil society, including those of its features - pluralism and freedom of conscience - that are essential for a functioning democracy. It shows how the official church, including the Moscow Patriarchate, has impeded the development of civil society, while on the other hand the non-official church, including nonconformist clergy and lay activists, has promoted concepts central to civil society.
Description : Church-state relations during the Soviet period were much more complex and changeable than is generally assumed. From the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 until the 21st Party Congress in 1961, the Communist regime's attitude toward the Russian Orthodox Church zigzagged from indifference and opportunism to hostility and repression. Drawing from new access to previously closed archives, historian Tatiana Chumachenko has documented the twists and turns and human dramas of church-state relations during these decades. This rich material provides essential background to the post-Soviet Russian government's controversial relationship to the Russian Orthodox Church today.
Description : Church Slavonic, one of the world’s historic sacred languages, has experienced a revival in post-Soviet Russia. Blending religious studies and sociolinguistics, this book looks at Church Slavonic in the contemporary period. It uses Slavonic in order to analyse a number of wider topics, including the renewal and factionalism of the Orthodox Church; the transformation of the Russian language; and the debates about protecting the nation from Western cults and culture.
Description : What happens when the Russian Orthodox tradition meets post-Soviet Russia? This is the gemeral question which will be in the focus in this study of the Orthodox discourse in post-Soviet Russian culture. It will be abalyzed both in its own right and as a constituent of memory, a conservative or imperialist political attitude and postmodernism. One issue addressed in the debate over the use of Church Slavonic as the liturgical language. Another invloves the nature of the canonizations that have taken place in the Orthodox Church in recent years and attempts to canonize the soldier Evgenij Rodionov and Stalin. A third topic is jurodstvo, or holy foolishness, for centuries a special and recurring theme in the Orthodox Church that has re-emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union. A chapter is devoted to Ksenija of Petersburg, a peculiar and much beloved holy fool of that city. A final issue concerns the significance of the Orthodox tradition in recent Russian art and poetry.
Description : How are Russians coping with the transition from communism to capitalism? How have their lives changed since perestroika? How do they feed their families, educate their children, and try to stay mentally and physically healthy? What has become of Russian literature and the arts, of the Russian Orthodox Church? Written from the viewpoint of a foreigner with the experience and perspective of an insider, by a woman with a keen eye for observation who saw Russia at the grass roots during a fascinating time of transition, this work presents a vivid picture of contemporary Russia that most Americans, including tourists, never see.