The Models of Attitudes of the Population Towards Significant Sacred Objects in the Context of Modern Sociological Theories (an example of the city of Sergiev Posad (Russia))

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Iya BIDIKHOVA, Saint Tikhon's Orthodox University, Russian Federation
In the modern world there are a lot of rapid global changes in the different spheres of existence: economic, political, cultural and others. One of the consequences of this is the change in the system of values and the emergence of the phenomenon of the “consumer society”.

Due to this it is interesting to investigate how modern people perceive sacred objects and values: do they see in them objects of the realization of spiritual and religious needs or the historical and cultural artefacts, or do they perceive them as source of some advantages?

We tried to answer these questions using the results of a survey in the city of Sergiev Posad where there is one of the most significant sacred objects in Russia – Trinity-Sergiev Lavra. The data analysis shows that there are several models but two of them were most common “Lavra as capital” and “Lavra as value”.

These two models are quite common for the investigated set of respondents. However, the larger percentage of the people whose answers can fit to the model “Lavra as capital” shows that in modern Russian society there is a specific consumer attitude towards significant sacred objects. This attitude fits in the framework of the sociological concept of capital with its symbolic, economic and cultural meanings. We can confidently say this about the inhabitants of this city.

We can make a conclusion that such an attitude is largely the consequence of the spread of consumer values and patterns of behaviour. For example, Baudrillard, one of the main researchers of the consumer society compared consumption with religious ritual when authentic meaning replaces simulacrum. Thus, we can assume that the attitude towards sacred objects as capital is such a replacement.