"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).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Religion and Democracy in the South Caucasus

Living as so many countries in the region do in the shadow of the Russian behemoth, smaller countries in Eastern Europe as well as the Caucasus do not often garner nearly the same attention as Russia. In the quarter-century since the collapse of the evil empire, former Soviet states have developed in a variety of ways--as have, not incidentally, their Christian, especially Orthodox, populations. A recent collection examines three Caucasian countries: Alexander Agadjanian, Anscar, Jödicke and Evert van der Zweerde, eds., Religion, Nation and Democracy in the South Caucasus (Routledge, 2014), 296pp.

About this book we are told:
This book explores developments in the three major societies of the South Caucasus – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia – focusing especially on religion, historical traditions, national consciousness, and political culture, and on how these factors interact. It outlines how, despite close geographical interlacement, common historical memories and inherited structures, the three countries have deep differences; and it discusses how development in all three nations has differed significantly from the countries’ declared commitments to democratic orientation and European norms and values. The book also considers how external factors and international relations continue to impact on the three countries.

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