DOI link for Introduction
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book answers that question by taking a micro perspective on the interrelation between politics and Orthodoxy in contemporary Russia. To be sure, a lot has been written on the contemporary relation between religion and politics in terms such as secularism, secularity and secularization – albeit, less in Russia than in other places. When analyzing the particularities of Russian Orthodoxy, attention has to be drawn to broader debates in the anthropology of religion. The substantial social transformations of the post-Soviet region are therefore leaving a considerable imprint on how religion is addressed and relates to society. For quite a long time the Western trend of secularization served as a master narrative to understand the situation in other parts of the world. Speeches by important political figures provide an extra-legal but still official pronouncement on relations between politics and Russian Orthodoxy.