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 : 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 : This book examines the key 2008 publication of the Russian Orthodox Church on human dignity, freedom, and rights. It considers how the document was formed, charting the development over time of the Russian Orthodox Church's views on human rights. It analyzes the detail of the document, and assesses the practical and political impact inside the Church, at the national level and in the international arena. Overall, it shows how the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church has shifted from outright hostility towards individual human rights to the advocacy of "traditional values."
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 : 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 : Based on life-historical research with five Muscovites, this book provides an intimate portrait of their experience of the post-Soviet years as a period of intense refashioning of moral personhood. This process is revealed as uniquely personal, socially shared, and globally influenced.
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 : This volume consists of a collection of essays devoted to study of the most recent educational reform in Russia. In his first decree Boris Yeltsin proclaimed education a top priority of state policy. Yet the economic decline which accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union dealt a crippling blow to reformist aspirations, and to the existing school system itself. The public lost faith in school reform and by the mid-1990s a reaction had set in. Nevertheless, large-scale changes have been effected in finance, structure, governance and curricula. At the same time, there has been a renewed and widespread appreciation for the positive aspects of the Soviet legacy in schooling. The essays presented here compare current educational reform to reforms of the past, analyze it in a broader cultural, political and social context, and study the shifts that have occurred at the different levels of schooling 'from political decision-making and changes in school administration to the rewriting textbooks and teachers' everyday problems. The authors are both Russian educators, who have played a leading role in implementation of the reform, and Western scholars, who have been studying it from its very early stages. Together, they formulate an intricate but cohesive picture, which is in keeping with the complex nature of the reform itself. Contributors: Kara Brown, (Indiana University) * Ben Eklof (Indiana University) * Isak D. Froumin, (World Bank, Moscow) * Larry E. Holmes (University of South Alabama) * Igor Ionov, (Russian History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences) * Viacheslav Karpov & Elena Lisovskaya, (Western Michigan University) * Vera Kaplan, (Tel Aviv University) * Stephen T. Kerr, (University of Washington) * James Muckle, (University of Nottingham) * Nadya Peterson, (Hunter College) * Scott Seregny, (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) * Alexander Shevyrev, (Moscow State University) * Janet G. Vaillant, (Harvard University)
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.