№ 2, 2018
Russia recently experienced a so called “conservative turn”, which was accompanied by a significant strengthening of the Russian Orthodox Church’s (ROC) role in social and political life. The increasingly frequent participation of bishops in official state events, including inaugurations, reflects this trend. On the basis of the analysis of the speeches of the Orthodox clergy at inauguration ceremonies of the heads of subjects of the Russian Federation in 2012—2017, the author shows that the “conservative turn” did not leave the ROC untouched. The author was able to spot an “authoritarian” message in the overwhelming majority of speeches. Not only does the Orthodox clergy emphasize spiritual and moral values, which are interpreted as the foundation of state, but it also shows strong support for the lack of alternation of power, ties success and prosperity of regions to the cooperation of regional authorities with the Church and insists on the divine nature of power per se. If in the early 1990s the ROC criticized the “compulsory statehood”, which deprived people of the opportunity and desire to think independently, and proclaimed principles of equality, freedom and spiritual revival, today its discourse fits perfectly into the conservative discourse of the authorities. According to the author’s conclusion, the leadership of the ROC should be regarded as part of the “conservative coalition” of modern Russia. Such acknowledgment opens up opportunities for a deeper understanding of the reasons for the transformation of the Russian political regime.
Main Page ~ Authors ~ Ukhvatova Maria