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The Visible Religion

The Russian Orthodox Church and her Relations with State and Society in Post-Soviet Canon Law (1992–2015)


Alexander Ponomariov

«The Visible Religion» is an antithesis to Thomas Luckmann’s concept. The Russian Orthodox Church in post-Soviet canon law suggests a comprehensive cultural program of modernity. Researched through the paradigms of multiple modernities and post-secularity, the ROC appears to be quite modern: she reflects on herself and the secular environment, employs secular language, appeals to public reason, the human rights discourse, and achievements of modern science. The fact that the ROC rejects some liberal Western developments should not be understood in the way that the ROC rejects modernity in general. As a legitimate player in the public sphere, the ROC puts forward her own – Russian Orthodox – model of modernity, which combines transcendence and immanence, theological and social reasoning, an afterlife strategy and cooperation with secular actors, whereby eschatology and the human rights discourse become two sides of the same coin.

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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Zugl.: Passau, Univ., Diss., 2016

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress

Cover Photo: Vladimir Putin and the world’s Orthodox Church Primates in the Kremlin, June 2013 Photograph by Sergei Vlasov / Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ Courtesy of the Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’

D 739 ISSN 1612-152X ISBN 978-3-631-73512-1 (Print) E-ISBN 978-3-631-73513-8 (E-PDF) E-ISBN 978-3-631-73514-5 (EPUB) E-ISBN 978-3-631-73515-2 (MOBI) DOI 10.3726/b11829

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