Interaction of the Religious and the Secular in Today's Russia

  1. Lemma
  2. Взаимодействие религиозного и светского в современной России
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecumenism and dialogue > Education - Culture and national identities
  6. 07-07-2018
  7. Гучетль, Тимур Аскерович [Author]. Взаимодействие религиозного и светского в современной России
  8. Вестник Адыгейского государственного университета. Серия 1: Регионоведение: философия, история, социология, юриспруденция, политология, культурология
  9. Higher education - ethics - morality - Russian Orthodoxy - Russian government
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Гучетль, Т. А. (2009). Взаимодействие религиозного и светского в современной России. <em>Вестник Адыгейского государственного университета. Серия 1: Регионоведение: философия, история, социология, юриспруденция, политология, культурология</em>, (3), 128-130. Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The article highlights the problem of relations between state and religious organizations as one of the most socially significant in today’s Russia. The author believes that its resolution will affect the future of the state as a whole, arguing that throughout history the religious factor has influenced the foundation and destruction of entire empires.

      In Russia, despite the secular nature of the state (provided by Article 14 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation), the religious and the secular have been cooperating quite closely. In the early 2000s the state engaged the representatives of main religious confessions in resolving the problems of ethics and morality. At first, this was manifested mainly in countering the spread of drug addiction. Over time, the sphere of interaction expanded, and today it is impossible, according to the author, to find a sphere that could be designated as exclusively secular or religious.

      This is in particular the case of science and education. More religious educational institutions (Orthodox institutes, Islamic universities, etc.) are being created where religious courses are taught. At the legislative level, work is being done to equalize the diplomas of secular and religious educational institutions and recognize the religious institutions’ educational programs in accordance with the state standard.

      The author explains why the state supports religious institutions through four major factors. Firstly, most religions profess almost the same moral values with some amendments, and the prohibition on their violation is reinforced by their sacredness, which has no physical/material embodiment. Using this, the state tries to strengthen the power of the secular law. Secondly, the religious is often closely linked to the national, and thus helps preserve traditions and culture. Thirdly, religion is a source of artistic expression, and sometimes scientific knowledge. Fourthly, religion is a powerful ideological factor in countering external and internal threats to the state. As for religious organizations, they are attracted by the secular state’s vast resources, access to the media and the possibility of certain legislative indulgences favourable to religious practice.

      The author points out, however, that the interaction of the religious and the secular has many opponents, in particular in the academic community, which has protested against the "clericalization of Russian society." He stresses at the same time that the state has not ceased to involve religious organizations in solving urgent social problems, which the author explains by the fact that the country’s top management does not consider the arguments of the academics as sufficiently significant.

      The article concludes by emphasizing that the interaction between the religious and the secular has its limits. The parties must use tact and mutual respect in order to avoid conflicts or the process of absorption of one by the other.