Believing in Russia - Religious Policy after Communism: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Believing in Russia - Religious Policy after Communism

1st Edition

By Geraldine Fagan


300 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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This book presents a comprehensive overview of religious policy in Russia since the end of the communist regime, exposing many of the ambiguities and uncertainties about the position of religion in Russian life. It reveals how religious freedom in Russia has, contrary to the widely held view, a long tradition, and how the leading religious institutions in Russia today, including especially the Russian Orthodox Church but also Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist establishments, owe a great deal of their special positions to the relationship they had with the former Soviet regime. It examines the resurgence of religious freedom in the years immediately after the end of the Soviet Union, showing how this was subsequently curtailed, but only partially, by the important law of 1997. It discusses the pursuit of privilege for the Russian Orthodox Church and other ‘traditional’ beliefs under presidents Putin and Medvedev, and assesses how far Russian Orthodox Christianity is related to Russian national culture, demonstrating the unresolved nature of the key question, ‘Is Russia to be an Orthodox country with religious minorities or a multi-confessional state?’ It concludes that Russian society’s continuing failure to reach a consensus on the role of religion in public life is destabilising the nation.


"The author is to be commended for providing such an exceptional and unique assemblage of perceptions and insights, and doing so by way of engaging prose. For those interested in any aspect of Russian affairs, this book is must-read material."

James W.Warhola, The University of Maine Orono, Maine, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Russia’s Religious Freedom Tradition 2. ‘Native Land Protected by God’ 3. Rites of Spring 4. Law Unto Itself 5. Fight Thine Enemy 6. In Search of Tradition 7. Extreme Measures 8. Alternative Scenarios Conclusion

About the Author

Geraldine Fagan is Moscow correspondent for Forum 18 News Service, and has monitored religious policy across Russia for the past decade.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian and East European Studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies