Tag: Russia

Greater Love Has No One than This: To Lay Down One’s Life for One’s Friends
Public Life

Greater Love Has No One than This: To Lay Down One’s Life for One’s Friends

On Friday, February 16, 2024, Russian Penitentiary Service (FSIN) that is responsible for the thriving GULAG system informed the world that Russia’s “Prisoner no. 1,” Alexey Navalny, collapsed during the daily walk in the camp and died shortly thereafter. While everyone who cared about Navalny had feared for his life every day since January 17,…

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Letter to Russia: The Importance of Finding Those Who Are United in Spirit
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Religion and Conflict

Letter to Russia: The Importance of Finding Those Who Are United in Spirit

Editor’s Note: The Orthodox Church in Russia is divided, but this division is not canonical nor administrative. Moreover, it is not always visible from the outside. While the official Church has become an integral part of Putin’s political regime, on a deeper level, there is resistance on behalf of small Orthodox communities and individuals who…

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Martyrdom without Miracles<span class='secondary-title'>The 9th-Century Church Controversy in Córdoba and Modern Orthodoxy</span>
Church History, Public Life

Martyrdom without MiraclesThe 9th-Century Church Controversy in Córdoba and Modern Orthodoxy

Between the years 850 and 859, something unexpected happened in Córdoba. Some forty-eight Christians were martyred. Contemporary church historians usually refer to them as “voluntary martyrs” because almost all of them, by their own will, presented themselves in front of the Muslim authorities and confessed themselves to be Christians, denouncing Islam and Mohammed as a…

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Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God?<span class='secondary-title'>An open letter to the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church</span>
Documents, Ethics, Religion and Conflict

Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God?An open letter to the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church

  Your Eminences! My letter is addressed to the Orthodox bishops in Russia. I have intentionally not collected signatures or involved any Church structures or public organizations, because I am addressing not the episcopal body, not the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchy, but each of you personally. My letter’s addressee is an Orthodox Christian who…

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Sergii Bulgakov: Easter Thoughts
Religion and Politics, Theology

Sergii Bulgakov: Easter Thoughts

with commentary by Regula Zwahlen български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски This article was published in the first issue of the newspaper “Narod” (“People”), published in Kiev in April 1906, with Sergii Bulgakov and A. S. Glinka (Volzhsky) as editors. The newspaper “Narod” was conceived as a printed edition of…

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A Church at War: Heresies, History, and a Russian Orthodoxy Otherwise
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

A Church at War: Heresies, History, and a Russian Orthodoxy Otherwise

by Patrick Lally Michelson Much of the criticism currently directed at the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church for supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine is organized around the idea that the Moscow Patriarchate is ideologically compromised and theologically unsound. With few exceptions, scholars, journalists, and opinion writers condemn leaders of the Russian Church as apologists…

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Woman of Peace, Temple of War
Culture and Arts, Religion and Politics

Woman of Peace, Temple of War

by Matthew J. Milliner The Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces was sprinkled with holy water by Patriarch Kirill in 2020, but that does not mean it is holy. It has forsaken the elegant curves of a traditional Russian dome to deliberately resemble nuclear missiles (which Russian priests have cheerily blessed). The classic two-dimensional…

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Russian Orthodox Media Shows a House Divided Against Itself
Public Life

Russian Orthodox Media Shows a House Divided Against Itself

Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine threatens to become the worst humanitarian disaster in recent history. The Russian Orthodox Church, already embroiled in a protracted conflict in Ukraine over Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s decision to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, is facing even greater struggles to maintain unity among its flock as this calamity…

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Ukrainian Occupation: Worse Than a Crime, It’s A Mistake
Religion and Conflict

Ukrainian Occupation: Worse Than a Crime, It’s A Mistake

by Nicholas Sooy When Napoleon executed Louis Antoine in 1804, a decision which turned the European aristocracy against Napoleon, an advisor reportedly quipped “It’s worse than a crime, it’s a mistake.” Former US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, an architect of the War in Vietnam reportedly quipped the same thing about Vietnam. A full-scale invasion…

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Orthodoxy and the Rule of Law in Russia
Book Reviews, Religion and Politics

Orthodoxy and the Rule of Law in Russia

by Paul Valliere and Randall A. Poole Scholarly study of the interaction of law and religion is well established in Europe and America, but it is not evenly distributed across the religious and ecclesiastical spectrum. There is a vast literature on some aspects of the subject, such as religion in the American constitutional order and…

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Constitutional Amendments Bless the Russian Orthodox Church’s Growing Foreign Policy Role
Religion and Politics

Constitutional Amendments Bless the Russian Orthodox Church’s Growing Foreign Policy Role

Russia’s constitutional amendments of 2020 augur an ever-enlarging foreign policy role for the Russian Orthodox Church—Moscow Patriarchate (ROC). Constitutional entrenchment of the Kremlin’s selective understanding of state sovereignty and non-interference; a state-sanctioned vision of historical truth; the muscular protection of compatriot rights abroad; and the propagation of traditional values each tap into areas where the…

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The Navalny Protests and Orthodoxy’s A-Political Theology<span class='secondary-title'>Mumblings of the Sacred</span>
Religion and Politics, Theology

The Navalny Protests and Orthodoxy’s A-Political TheologyMumblings of the Sacred

At the end of January, what were perhaps the largest protest rallies in the last ten years took place across Russia. The protests were sparked by the arrest of opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who had returned to his homeland after medical treatment in Germany. Back in August 2020, Russian special services had tried to poison…

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The Russian Orthodox Church’s “Black List of False Clerics”
Public Life

The Russian Orthodox Church’s “Black List of False Clerics”

by Jacob Lassin | българск | ქართული | Ελληνικά | Русский | Српски On November 19, 2020, The Russian Orthodox Church’s Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society published what many media sources have referred to as a “black list of false clerics.” This list of clerics was added to an already existing list of…

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Remembering Sergey Sergeevich Horujy (1941-2020)
Uncategorized

Remembering Sergey Sergeevich Horujy (1941-2020)

A towering intellectual voice in Russian Orthodoxy is no longer. Sergey Sergeevich Horujy passed away in Moscow on September 22, 2020. I write this note with great sadness and full of gratitude to a friend, teacher, and intellectual guide.   I first met Sergey Horujy in 2005 during the research for my doctoral dissertation. He…

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The Death of Secularism:  Russia, Turkey, and Western Cluelessness
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

The Death of Secularism: Russia, Turkey, and Western Cluelessness

“Secular” is a tricky word. Most associate it with “no religion,” “absence of religion,” or “decline of religion.” At one time, it was pretty much the consensus in the Western world that with increased modernization, which usually meant technological and scientific advancement, religion would no longer really be needed and would simply fade away. This is one of…

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The End of Post-Soviet Religion<span class='secondary-title'>Russian Orthodoxy as a National Church </span>
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

The End of Post-Soviet ReligionRussian Orthodoxy as a National Church

by Kristina Stoeckl | ελληνικά | ру́сский As of 4 July 2020, the amendment to the Russian Constitution—first proposed by President Vladimir Putin in January, smoothly approved by the State Duma and Constitutional Court in March, and confirmed in a nationwide referendum with 78,56 per cent of votes—has taken effect. As widely reported, the main…

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Pandemic and the Holy in Russia
Liturgical Life

Pandemic and the Holy in Russia

by John P. Burgess | ελληνικά | Română | ру́сский Like churches in other parts of the world, the Orthodox Church in Russia has struggled to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The question became particularly intense at the end of the Great Fast. Even though Church and state authorities had called on people to remain…

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The Russian Orthodox Church and Coronavirus<span class='secondary-title'>Rethinking the Question of “Relevance to the System”</span>
Public Life, Religion and Politics

The Russian Orthodox Church and CoronavirusRethinking the Question of “Relevance to the System”

by Regina Elsner | ελληνικά | ру́сский In some respects, the global coronavirus crisis has brought to light ruptures that in normal times were often dismissed as marginal problems of small groups. Unresolved and underestimated social injustices became obvious and were recognized as threatening more than just the existence of the respective groups. A similar…

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Beyond Secular Critique? The Trial Speech of Yegor Zhukov
Public Life

Beyond Secular Critique? The Trial Speech of Yegor Zhukov

by Dmitry Uzlaner The wave of political protests sparked by irregularities during the 2018 mayoral election in Moscow led to a number of arrests of activists and protesters. One of them, a student, Yegor Zhukov, was tried and convicted at the beginning of December 2019 and sentenced to three years of probation. This case, among other…

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Russian Orthodox Clergy Support Justice and Respect for the Law
Public Life, Religion and Politics

Russian Orthodox Clergy Support Justice and Respect for the Law

The reform of the judicial system, which practically never acquits and is fully subordinate to law enforcement agencies, has long been discussed in Russia. However, only civil activists are involved in the debates. The government keeps evading any participation in the discussion, and the courts continue arbitrarily to pass unreasonably strict verdicts for both civil…

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The Diverging Paths of Orthodoxy
Book Reviews, Religion and Politics

The Diverging Paths of Orthodoxy

by Theodore Theophilos The following is a review of Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy, a study of the role of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in shaping the nuclear arms program for the Russian Federation written by Dmitry Adamsky and published by Stanford University Press (2019).  I approached this surprisingly accessible book with perhaps a unique perspective….

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IOCC and the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Lifeline to Russia
Inter-Orthodox Relations

IOCC and the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Lifeline to Russia

by Theodore Theophilos Over the course of the last few years, the relationship between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate has been severely strained. Disputes involving Ukraine; the Great and Holy Council of 2016; the opening of ROCOR churches in Korea, France and Italy; claims of “Third Rome” status and allegations of Caesaro-Papism—the list…

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The Russian “Matilda” Controversy<span class='secondary-title'>The Politics of Religious Feelings</span>
Uncategorized

The Russian “Matilda” ControversyThe Politics of Religious Feelings

Karl Marx famously said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. The truth of this statement can be witnessed these days in Russia when looking at the controversies surrounding the film Matilda, due to show in Russian cinemas on October 26th, 2017. The street protests of groups of Orthodox believers, the charges…

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On Religious Freedom, Is Russia the Next Saudi Arabia?
Religion and Politics

On Religious Freedom, Is Russia the Next Saudi Arabia?

by Hannah Gais As Donald Trump’s newly-minted administration struggles to adhere to a concise foreign policy, an independent commission has thrown yet another cog in its long-lost dream of a productive relationship with the “very smart” Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a recently released annual report issued by the United States Commission on International Religious…

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ROCOR Commentary on the February Revolution: Blame the West and Link Putin to the Tsars
Religion and Politics

ROCOR Commentary on the February Revolution: Blame the West and Link Putin to the Tsars

by Lena Zezulin It is sad, if understandable, that the Russian state and society remained almost mute on the anniversary of the February/March 1917 Revolution. There is no consensus on those events. It should therefore be welcome that the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which has existed independently outside the Soviet state, professed anti-communism,…

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The Russian Church: Profiting by Silence
Religion and Politics

The Russian Church: Profiting by Silence

Last Sunday Russia saw a wave of protests against corruption in the upper echelons of power. Masses took to the streets ignited by the investigation of the Anti-Corruption Foundation titled “He is Not Dimon for You,” which focused on the alleged corrupt affairs of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The outcome of these events surprised…

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A Time for U.S.-Russian Repentance?
Religion and Politics

A Time for U.S.-Russian Repentance?

by John P. Burgess Tens of thousands of people gathered in Orthodox churches throughout Russia on Sunday, February 26th. In the church that I attended, the priest spoke of a God who invites humans to confess their sins and make a new start. As dozens of flickering candles cast gentle shadows into the darkened room,…

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Why Is the Church Silent about Anti-LGBT+ Violence in Russia?
Orthodoxy and Modernity

Why Is the Church Silent about Anti-LGBT+ Violence in Russia?

by Katherine Kelaidis There are a lot of really good reasons to ban FIFA ’17, including the bevy of corruption scandals that seem to plague the governing body of the world’s most popular sport. But a group of Russian MPs, many from Vladimir Putin’s own United Russia Party, have managed to seize on the most…

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Global Orthodoxy

The European Union, Russia, Religion, and Fear

by Kristina Stoeckl On 23 November 2016, the European Union Parliament passed a resolution entitled EU strategic communication to counteract anti-EU propaganda by third parties. In one part of this resolution, the signatories deplore that the Russian Government is employing a wide range of tools and instruments, such as think tanks and special foundations (e.g….

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After the Yarovaya Laws: The Russian Orthodox Church and the “Traditional Values” International at a Crossroads
Religion and Politics

After the Yarovaya Laws: The Russian Orthodox Church and the “Traditional Values” International at a Crossroads

One of the strangest aspects of Vladimir Putin’s third term as president of the Russian Federation has been the emergence of Russia as the global standard bearer for so-called “traditional values.” Many commentators, pundits, scholars, and Russia watchers have had difficulty coming to terms with this shift. While certain left-wing commentators such as Stephen F….

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Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University