Seminar at Uppsala

After the collapse of the USSR, religion has gained a significant impact on public sphere in Russia. Even if, in Russia the majority of population considers itself as Orthodox believers (62% according to national survey data), the society keeps a commitment to secular values as the legacy of Soviet past. The research carried out by the Dr. Grishaeva is aimed to examine which kinds of identities Orthodox community elaborates in order to adapt itself to desecularized society. The results of the research are based on the “naturally occurred data”, collected from Orthodox highly ranked web-sites and from national and local faith-based newspapers.

The seminar based on the results of this media analysis will present two different models of Orthodox identity building. The first one, conflict model, puts at the core strict adhesion to religious values, promotes commitment to Orthodox monastic ideal in mundane life. Secular modernity is presented as hostile, corrupted by sin, non-spiritual, and individualistic. The desire to transform a secular society into an Orthodox one explains strong political element in this model. According to the second model, model of collaboration, Christian love is a key element of Orthodox identity. It distinguishes, but does not separate Orthodox believers from other citizens. Moreover, it stimulates an active civic position. Important attention is paid to activism in such fields as education, health care, help to socially vulnerable groups, etc.

Ekaterina Grishaeva is lecturer at the Department of Philosophy at Ural Federal University. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Ural Federal University. She was a junior fellow in the Institute for Human Science (Vienna, Austria), and a postdoctoral fellow at the Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland). During 2015-2016 Dr. Grishaeva worked on a project Traditional Religions and Religious Identity in Post-Secular Society aimed at investigating how Orthodox believers invent their identities in post-Soviet conservative society.

The seminar is arranged is cooperation with the research seminar in Sociology of Religion.