Orthodoxy and Social and Political Knowledge

  1. Lemma
  2. Православие и социально-политическое знание
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Orthodox Anthropology - Orthodox theological tradition and practice - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Mysticism and Orthodox spiritual experience
  6. 12-07-2018
  7. Шамшурин, Виктор Иванович [Author]. Православие и социально-политическое знание
  8. Известия Иркутского государственного университета. Серия: Политология. Религиоведение
  9. sociology - sociology of religion - Catholic - protestantism - Buddhism - monasticism - Russian Orthodoxy - salvation - law - morality
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Шамшурин, Виктор Иванович(2012). Православие и социально-политическое знание. <em>Известия Иркутского государственного университета. Серия: Политология. Религиоведение</em>, (2-1), 115-119.</p>
    1. The article argues that Orthodoxy, being a religion of personal salvation, calls for a special type of sociology. In particular, the author finds that socio-political studies of Orthodoxy and their scientific results may be unreliable. For example, the personal position of the researcher (sociologist) influences the interpretation of the received data. In Orthodoxy, repentance, humility, criticism of one's self (deeds, thoughts, emotions, roles, etc.) is a necessary condition for creativity and salvation. Moreover, without this, as Orthodox thinker Isaak Sirin pointed out, all activity is in vain. The author suggests that researchers involved in the sociology of Orthodoxy should take up their task seriously and implement Orthodox self-criticism in their own scholarship.

      The author criticizes both the Catholic and the Protestant approach to the sociology of Christianity for their emphasis on social work (what he refers to as “replacing the church with "hospice" or other charitable institution). Neither does he advocate the “path of arrogant asceticism” and isolation of the church from "sinful" society by the monastery walls, as is the case of Buddhism. The author contrasts these with the Eastern Christian tradition: the "harmony-symphony" of the earthly and heavenly.

      In Orthodox theology things are not seen as intrinsically "good" or "evil". It is assumed that many mistakes are made with the best of intentions. This is why sociology of Orthodoxy makes use of legal and political categories. The law is defined as the code that defines social relations. It is enforced through institutions, with varying degrees of intensity and success. The process of the implementation of laws is defined as a policy. The author stresses that law and policy acquire a value-based sense when “a moral overtone” is introduced. He argues that law, policy and morality have much in common as all of them are imperatives. In conclusion the author brings attention to the fact that law, policy and morality must be harmoniously interrelated, both in day-to-day activities and in sociological research.