The Models of Orthodox Christian Parishes within Post-Soviet Russia: The Influence of Social Environment

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:20 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Maria PODLESNAYA , IAC of the Faculty of social sciences, St.Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Moscow, Russia
Vast reconstruction and building of orthodox churches in Russia is a new architectural landscape of modern Russian cities as well as forming of separate social establishments - parishes and their communities. Such communities are variegated and have own features demanding on different factors (mainly of territorial and administrative character).

The sociological researches within Kashirskoe and Nikolsy deaneries afforded an opportunity of distinguishing the orthodox parishes models, which develop as a result of religious activity of last several decades.

  1. “The churches with elderly communities unclosed in soviet period”.  The core of such communities is formed by aged people - as a rule, women and old-timers of church who remember the life of parish in soviet and relating to perestroika periods. The characteristic feature of such churches is a presence of several generations of congregants: those who were in the church in soviet times and those who came there in post-soviet period;
  2. “The parishes with constantly varied community” are typical for churches at hospitals, shelters and prisons where there is a frequent change of congregants looking for mysteries and services of Church;
  3. “The churches in holiday villages with cottagers communities” and “The guest church”;
  4. “The parishes with the community of “the active” are formed around an enthusiastic and active priest, who unites people of  the most diverse age and social rank;
  5. 5.      “The parishes of specific destiny”. There are parishes which are known for their unparalleled features, as for instance one of Satino-Russkoe of Nikolsky deanery: here we find both the deposition of respected warrior Evgeny Rodionov (numerous groups come to his resting place), and complicated reconstructed building of the church against the background of luxurious houses raised around and even its own parish tragedy – the murder of a priest.