"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Orthodoxy and Russian Politics

Judging by the number of books that have appeared in the last five years alone, and a number still to come in the next twelve to eighteen months, Church-state relations in Russia continue to fascinate many people and attract a great deal of attention, including in this new book:

Irina Papkova, The Orthodox Church and Russian Politics (Oxford UP, 2011), 265pp. 

About this book, the publisher tells us:
This in-depth case study examines the Russian Orthodox Church’s influence on federal level policy in the Russian Federation since the fall of communism. By far more comprehensive than competing works, The Orthodox Church and Russian Politics is based on interviews, close readings of documents—including official state and ecclesiastical publications—and survey work conducted by the author. The analysis balances the Church as an institutional political actor with the government’s response to Church demands. Papkova ultimately concludes that the reciprocal relationship between the Church and state is far weaker and less politically important than Western analysts usually believe.

Papkova traces the Church’s relative failure in mobilizing parishioners, influencing political parties, and lobbying the state, citing the 1997 law limiting religious freedoms as its only significant political win. She attributes much of this weakness to the informal division of the Church into liberal, traditionalist, and fundamentalist factions, which prevent it from presenting a unified front. The book provides a fresh insight into the role of the Church in post-Soviet Russia that can be appreciated by people interested in numerous fields. While written from a political science perspective, the book speaks across disciplines to sociology, anthropology, history, and religious studies.
I look forward to having this expertly reviewed in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies next year.


  1. Hello, sorry to bother was wondering if you any schools are hosting services where subcribed to your Journal LOGOS? The only LOGOS i could find i I did a search with my Ebscohost account, and i found a different journal "Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture," which apparently is different from the one you edit.
    i can't seem to find your journal anywhere, what gives?

  2. Yes, there is another journal called Logos, published out of Minnesota. Ours is LOGOS: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, the oldest such journal in North America. If you follow this link you'll be able to get subscription information: http://www.sheptytskyinstitute.ca/?page_id=1115

  3. I reviewed this for the journal RELIGION recently and enjoyed it very much. Let me know what you think.
    -Chris Johnson


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