Mitrofanova, Anastasia V.

The Politicization of Russian Orthodoxy

Actors and Ideas

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SPPS Band 13

This book analyzes the ideologies of politicized Orthodox Christianity in today Russia including fundamentalism, pan-Slavism, neo-Eurasianism, Orthodox communism and nationalism. Apart from textual analysis, the volume provides a description of the specific subculture of political Orthodoxy, i.e. its language, symbols, art, mass media, hangouts and dress-code.
This study represents the first scholarly examination of these topics. Unlike other publications on the politicization of Orthodoxy, it is focused not on the political ambitions of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), but on political movements ideologically based on their own interpretations of the Orthodox doctrine, often contravening the canonical version. The book demonstrates that the "political Orthodox" or "Orthodox patriots" are a specific branch of believers who frequently do not practice Orthodoxy properly, inventing, instead, their own quasi-Orthodox rituals. The study shows that the community of the political Orthodox is guided less by the ROC, than by religiously oriented lay intellectuals who are briefly introduced.
Finally, the volume demonstrates that, even in the absence of significant electoral achievements, some religio-political Orthodox movements - namely, fundamentalists and nationalists - have been able to gain public support at the grassroots level. They have been able to infiltrate larger and more moderate political organizations thus contributing to a general "Orthodoxization" of Russian political discourse.

248 Seiten, Paperback. 2005
ISBN 3-89821-481-8
ISSN 1614-3515

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“Overall, the author's arguments and observations, many of which were undertaken in field work and interviewing a number of people in the groups, were not only plausible but highly interesting. […] There is also great potential for Mitrofanova and other researchers to develop this work further.”
CEU Political Science Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1


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