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.
Table of Contents
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
Sophie Kotzer completed her doctorate at the University of Leicester