ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Mariia A. Podlesnaia, Candidate of Sociology leading researcher, , Сandidate of Sociological Sciences, Senior Researcher Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
The life of an Orthodox emigrant and the Russian parish abroad as an object of sociological study.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 1. P. 79-118

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Topic: Topic of the Issue: Religion in the modern world: perspectives on the problem

For citation:
Podlesnaia M. A. The life of an Orthodox emigrant and the Russian parish abroad as an object of sociological study. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 1. P. 79-118


In the article, based on the analysis of the focus groups of parishioners and interviews with priests of the Orthodox Church in Germany, the reasons and experience of churching of parishioners are studied; what it means for them to be Orthodox, their expectations about the priest, the problems, achievements and prospects of an Orthodox parish abroad. Modern Germany is gradually becoming a multinational, multiethnic, multicultural state and more Americanized than Islamized. At present, it is difficult to say what this complex process can lead to in the future: either to a “civil religion” similar to what exists in America, or to the victory of Christian trends typical for this area in new forms. And although the spread of Islam on the territory of Germany is growing, one cannot but note the serious influence of American culture on the religious practices of the very Muslims. The staple of the current crisis of devoutness is a gradual withdrawal from the traditional forms of the Christian religious worldview. It is shown that Orthodoxy remains the main consolidating principle that connects the community, reveals religious and national identity, and, according to the research, has a number of indicators. These signs are formulated in the work in the form of phenomena: the Orthodox faith as a symbol of Russia; Orthodoxy as an institutional link with Russia; Orthodox parish as a link with the Russian people through communication with parishioners, that is, Orthodoxy as a consolidating principle; Orthodoxy as a basis for preserving the fathers’ traditions; Orthodoxy as a symbol of specifics (detachment, selectivity) of Orthodox believers and doctrines, and therefore, the bearer of the specific way of life and worldview; Orthodoxy as an indicator (exhibitor) of the fact that material well-being and comfort is not all that a person needs; Orthodoxy as a tool for a person who is in a foreign environment to seek their essence; Orthodox parish as a base for psychological balance of the people deprived of their habitual living conditions in connection due to departure for permanent residence abroad.


The Orthodox emigrant, Russian parish abroad, an Orthodox community abroad



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