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Orthodox Christianity and Human Rights in Europe

A Dialogue Between Theological Paradigms and Socio-Legal Pragmatics



This collective book aims at examining in what terms, and to what extent, the "reception" of the Human Rights doctrine takes place in Eastern Orthodox countries, as well as in the Orthodox diaspora. A series of questions are raised regarding the resources and theological structures that are mobilized in the overall Human Rights’ debate and controversy, the theological "interpretation" of Human Rights within the Eastern Orthodox spiritual tradition, and the similarities and/or divergences of this "interpretation", compared to the other Christian confessions. Special attention is given to the various Orthodox actors on the international arena, aside the national Orthodox churches, which participate in the Ecumenical dialogue, as well as the dialogue with the European and international institutions.

Religious freedom, as a fundamental Human right, guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), constitutes a key-issue that contributes to broadening the reflections on the overall Human Rights-related problematic between East and West, by shading light on the more complex issue pertaining to the conceptualization and implementation of Human Rights in countries belonging to the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

The present volume studies the diversity that characterizes the Orthodox theological traditions and interpretations regarding Human Rights, not only in terms of an "external", or a "strategical" approach of socio-political and ecclesial nature, but also through a reflexive analysis of theological discourses.

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The Pussy Riot Case and the Peculiarities of Russian Post-Secularism (Dmitry Uzlaner)


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The Pussy Riot Case and the Peculiarities of Russian Post-Secularism1


Translation from Russian by April French

Many authors, including several from Russia, have studied the problem of post-secularism sufficiently well from a theoretical standpoint2. There is, however, a clear lack of empirical research that could operationalize the current theory as it applies to Russian realities. In this article, based on material surrounding the Pussy Riot case, I intend at least partially to fill this lacuna.

Judging from its resonance in the mass media, the Pussy Riot case became the main event of 2012, if not in the social and political spheres, then at least in the area of religion. The essence of the case and the sequence of events can be briefly summarized as follows: on February 21, 2012, at the very height of the presidential election campaign, the musical group Pussy Riot, already well-known for its scandalous artistic-political protests, organized a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The group entered the church in the guise of regular visitors; ← 153 | 154 → then the participants removed their outer clothing (under which multi-colored dresses were hidden), put on balaclavas, and began to perform a so-called “Punk Prayer”3 called “Mother of God, Banish Putin!” on the soleas4 of the church, directly in front of the Royal Doors of the iconostasis. Security guards and chance witnesses escorted the women out of the building. No one detained them,...

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