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Religion and Politics

Project Description

After 70 years of forced secularization during the Soviet period, contemporary Russia is seeing a “revival” of religion. Religion is gaining power and religious matters are infiltrating political discourse. At the same time, conservative and traditional values are becoming more popular among the population. As religion and traditionalism are usually interconnected, it is important to take a look at the political influence that religious communities exert on their members. Religion can affect political preferences of followers not only through religious texts, but also through parish life activities and sermons by offering interpretations and judgments on political issues from a religious perspective. There exists a gap in the literature concerning instances of political discussions or political agitation in contemporary Russia. Do clergy promote any patterns of political participation, including absenteeism, among followers? Do clergy encourage support of some political forces or candidates over others? Are believers and their behavior affected by the clergy’s views on politics, how and to what extent?
In this project, we conduct a series of qualitative interviews with both the clergy and believers from randomly chosen religious communities of Russian Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, and Protestants.

Methods:
qualitative interviewing

Key-words:
religion and politics, politics in religious communities, political preferences, political behavior.
 Project Manager

Anna Kulkova
Junior Research Fellow


 

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