Parallel/Alternative Orthodoxy in Russia: Inside Church, out of Doctrine

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:10 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Iaroslav BUKHARAEV , Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia
Current Russian Orthodox Church situation  is unprecedented: during soviet period church was constrained by the regime; at pre-soviet time official Church status did not conduce a free contention of theological ideas. Post-soviet time gives us unique situation: ultra-liberal and ultra-conservative fractions took shape and play without serious official (both church and state) pressure inside the Church. Both ultra-liberals and ultra-conservatives obviously stand beyond the allowable in orthodoxy theological latitude. Ultra-liberal fraction is not large, but ultra-conservatives are really numerous. So, authors focus concentrates on them.

There is no ideological unity in this fraction, but we can notice a few common features. First, hierarchy neglecting – patriarch and bishops has no respect in this community, withal mind of “ancient” considered as an ultimate truth. Really, we has a situation of forming an alternative Holy Tradition. Second, wide spread of apocalyptic moods, expectation of alarming “properties” (some of this “properties” did not come true yet). Third, monarchy minds, often linked   with “tsar-God” heresies, where the Christ place occupies the last Russian emperor, whom they call “redeemer” of Russia. And last, but not the least, new technologies, especially in information sphere, phobias. Objects  of these phobias are bar codes, Internet, mobile phones, credit cards and gadjets at all, electronic passports, individual tax number certificates ets.  Special sort of phobias – phobia of total state electronic control over the society establishing.

We can meet  ultra-conservative in every region of Russia, in many parishes and monasteries. This phenomena uprising caused by the few groups of reasons. Internal church reasons due to rapid growing of parish people number in 90th, when religious experience translation process was distorted. Social reasons were connected with post-soviet anomy intensified by economic difficulties, that provoke alarmist eschatological moods. And last, reasons caused with actual discontinuation state regulation of religious sphere.