23 September 2008

Clash of civilizations redux

A new book on the role of the Orthodox Church in the new Russia seems to confirm Samuel Huntington's "clash of civilizations" thesis.

Garrard, J. and Garrard, C.: Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent: Faith and Power in the New Russia.:
In the new Russia, the former KGB who run the country--Vladimir Putin among them--proclaim the cross, not the hammer and sickle. Meanwhile, a majority of Russians now embrace the Orthodox faith with unprecedented fervor. The Garrards trace how Aleksy orchestrated this transformation, positioning his church to inherit power once held by the Communist Party and to become the dominant ethos of the military and government. They show how the revived church under Aleksy prevented mass violence during the post-Soviet turmoil, and how Aleksy astutely linked the church with the army and melded Russian patriotism and faith.

Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent argues that the West must come to grips with this complex and contradictory resurgence of the Orthodox faith, because it is the hidden force behind Russia's domestic and foreign policies today.
Thus far, however, all the glowing comments and reviews seem to be from Western scholars. It would be interesting to see what Orthodox scholars have to say about it.

Hat tip to Eastern Orthodox Librarian.

1 comment:

Crushed said...

The Orthodox Church of course, is more than just a religion.

It a symbol of russian nationalism, of Russia's inheriting, in it's eyes, of the legacy of Byzantium and the Imperial eagle of the East.


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