200 pages | 5 B/W Illus.
This book examines how the Russian Orthodox Church developed during the period of Gorbachev’s rule in the Soviet Union, a period characterised by perestroika (reform) and glasnost (openness). It charts how official Soviet policy towards religion in general and the Russian Orthodox Church changed, with the Church enjoying significantly improved status. It also discusses, however, how the improved relations between the Moscow Patriarchate and the state, and the Patriarchate’s support for Soviet foreign policy goals, its close alignment with Russian nationalism and its role as a guardian of the Soviet Union’s borders were not seen in a positive light by dissidents and by many ordinary believers, who were disappointed by the church’s failure in respect of its social mission, including education and charitable activities.
Introduction: Rethinking the Religious Renaissance during Perestroika 1. Servant of the state or faithful ally? Church-state relations in modern Russian History 2. State policy towards the Russian Orthodox Church 3. Church-state relations: View from the Moscow Patriarchate 4. The Moscow Patriarchate and the Soviet Media 5. View from the outside: Russian Orthodoxy in the patriotic and Christian alternative press during perestroika Conclusion
This Series seeks to publish high quality monographs and edited volumes on religion, society and government in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states by focusing primarily on three main themes: the history of churches and religions (including but not exclusively Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism) in relation to governing structures, social groupings and political power; the impact of intellectual ideas on religious structures and values; and the role of religions and faith-based communities in fostering national identities from the nineteenth century until today.
The Series aims to advance the latest research on these themes by exploring the multi-facets of religious mobilisation at local, national and supranational levels. It particularly welcomes studies which offer an interdisciplinary approach by drawing on the fields of history, politics, international relations, religious studies, theology, law, sociology, and anthropology.
Lucian Leustean is Reader in Politics and International Relations at Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.