chapter  4
European Secularity and Religious Modernity in Russia and Eastern Europe: Focus on Orthodox Christianity INNA NALETOVA
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After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Iron Curtain, which led to a closer reacquaintance with Eastern Europe and Russia in political and cultural terms, Western Europe came face to face with a different vision of religion in modern society. This vision is rooted in a specifically Eastern European and Russian experience of modernisation and social change, unparalleled in the West. It is also embedded in the ethos or spirit of Orthodox Christianity supportive of the development of different models from the Western European forms of mentality and institutional organisations.1 Following Max Weber, some scholars assume that traditional Orthodox values are unfavourable to the advancement of capitalism and Western rationalism and, as such, would be likely to lead to further inner-European cultural clashes caused by the increasing migration and globalisation. Other scholars disagree with these negative prognoses and assume that Orthodox cultures are not ‘immune’ to the secularising influences of the West and that the postCommunist interest of people in religion is simply a matter of short-lived fashion. There is also a third position, however, where modernity is viewed as a multiple construct in which various manifestations coexist without either melting into a single globalised trend or necessarily clashing with each other as incompatible civilisations. In this chapter I will look at Orthodoxy in Russia and Eastern Europe from the third perspective, namely, the perspective of multiple modernities, and will reflect on the forms and features of Orthodox religiosity as they appear in different domains of public life.