№ 3, 2022
After Political Religion: Special Aspects of Russian Post-Secularism
The concept of a post-secular society proposed by Jurgen Habermas has become quite popular in Russia, and not only within the framework of scientific discourse. However, in the Russian context, the very concept of “post-secular” is most often interpreted through the prism of desecularization. According to the author’s conclusion, the special aspects of the religious revival in the country after the collapse of the Soviet regime can largely explain this.
The article shows that the transition to a post-secular state in Russia included not only a rethinking of the perspectives of religion in a secular society and an awareness of the need for the participation of believers in public discussions, but also a change in the institutional position of religion, the rapprochement of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the authorities, the formation of a new idea of collective identity on the basis of Orthodoxy as the dominant confession, as well as an attempt to construct an official ideology, or a secular religion, an important element of which would be the symbolic heritage of Orthodoxy. Religion turned out to be in demand primarily for solving social and political problems: determining national specifics, reviving lost cultural traditions, and legitimizing political power. Religious revival in that form did not imply proper religious conversion and thus was not accompanied by a noticeable increase in real religiosity. The author explains the predominantly “secular” perception of the functions of religion by the authorities and a significant part of society by the legacy of the Soviet political religion, which pushed traditional religions with their transcendent sacred to the periphery of social life and gave rise to specific forms of the secular sacred.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ A. V.Matetskaya