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8 - Orthodox Religion and Politics in Post-Soviet Russia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2014

Mikhail Maslovskiy
Affiliation:
Higher School of Economics (St Petersburg)
Nikita Shangin
Affiliation:
Russia
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Summary

In 2012 the issues of the role of the Orthodox Church in Russian society and church–state relations came to the fore in public discussions in Russia. It became clear that the church was seeking to exert more influence on the social and political life of the country than ever before in the post-Soviet years. The seemingly growing importance of religious matters in a society that was often regarded as thoroughly secularised needs to be discussed from a sociological perspective. Apparently we should consider the interrelation of religion and politics in Russia during the whole post-Soviet period in order to clarify the current situation in this sphere.

This chapter partly draws on one of the trends in comparative-historical civilisational analysis that focuses on both cultural and political factors of social dynamics. However, we are trying not so much to apply the theoretical perspective of civilisational analysis to post-Soviet Russia, but rather to use elements of more empirical studies which seem to be compatible with this perspective. Special attention is devoted to the impact of the Soviet imperial legacy on Russia's political transformations. In particular, the relevance of Stephen Hanson's concept of ‘post-imperial democracy’ for making sense of Russian politics is evaluated. We also consider several other approaches to post-Soviet affairs that take into account the imperial legacy.

Type
Chapter
Information
Religion and Politics
European and Global Perspectives
, pp. 140 - 156
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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