chapter
11 Pages

Introduction

Rethinking the religious renaissance during perestroika
WithSophie Kotzer

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which investigates the interrelations between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), Russian nationalism and the state apparatus during the period of perestroika (1985–1991). The prime aim of the book is to analyse the role of the ROC as an actor in the political and social arena during the Gorbachev era and to identify in what ways changing church-state relations and nationalist ideology shaped the ideological and political scene of post-Soviet Russia. An examination of the major characteristics of Gorbachev’s style of leadership, his attitude towards glasnost, perestroika and the national question clarify the dynamics of the interrelations between the ROC, Russian nationalism and the secular authorities during his times. Furthermore, the book examines the way those interrelations influenced the revival of Russian nationalist ideology and shaped the ideological and political scene of the post-Soviet Russia.