Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Boris Knorre (Higher School of Economics)

'Political Orthodoxy' in the Post-Soviet Area as a Social-Cultural Phenomenon

Political Orthodoxy (PO) is a modification of Orthodoxy, focused on making religious-oriented homogeneous civilization system through political means. Today, PO is a set of groups of Orthodox adherents, holding to a particular array of priorities in the field of theological-philosophical, ethical, cultural norms legitimizing militaristic discourse, military-defense rhetoric, totalitarian dictatorship and forms of violence. From the one hand, PO is also inspired by imperial ambitions and by some pre-revolution nationalistic-fundamentalist ideas, which were restored in Post-Soviet Orthodoxy in romantisized way and are proper to contemporary post-secular reality in Russia. From the other hand, this phenomenon appears to be a form of transference of many Soviet ideological mechanisms and patterns of pro-Soviet mentality. While giving respectabilization to isolationist and totalitarian cultural models, PO is served to be one of the obstacles of possible cultural change toward modernization The author of this paper intends to focus on the following questions: What way PO provides sacralization of the nature of power, its institutions, the sphere of sociopolitical life in Russia, how PO is connected with foreign policy visions, geopolitical tasks and such political doctrines as "Russian world", "Moscow - Third Rome" and "Orthodox civilization"? What is the specific weight of PO in the Russian political realm? To what extent the processes of mastering of conspirological and apocalyptic views are connected with PO? How the ideas of PO are reflected in the internal social position of the clergy and lay people? - What are the possible versions of further evolution of the PO discourse, including both the hazards and risks of further radicalization, and the possibilities to mitigate this radicalization? Analyzing the possible reasons of politicization and radicalization of Orthodoxy in the post-Soviet space, the author makes a hypothesis that these processes, among other reasons, are also connected with the prevalence of the oppressive-deprivational paradigm of socio-cultural attitudes in the Russian Church tradition (the author having developed the corresponding scale).