Special Issue "The Russian Orthodox Church After the Post-Soviet Transition"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Health/Psychology/Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kristina Stoeckl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, University of Innsbruck, Austria-6020
Interests: sociology of religion; Orthodox Christianity; Russian Orthodox Church; human rights; civil society; transnationalism;
Dr. Dmitry Uzlaner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Interests: sociology of religion; secularization theory; postsecular society; social theory.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

For the last thirty years, there has hardly been a publication about the Russian Orthodox Church without “post-Soviet” and “post-communist” somewhere in the title. The experiences that were characteristic of the condition of the Russian Orthodox Church during the 20th century—repression, dissidence, collaboration, and emigration—were the backdrop against which developments since the end of communism were interpreted. Against these multifold experiences, the Russian Orthodox Church played different roles during the post-Soviet transition: that of a thriving faith under conditions of religious freedom, a supporter of democratization and a potential critic of the government, a cooperation partner inside a secular state, and that of a quasi-state church and nationalist promoter of the “Russian World”. In short, during the last three decades, Russian Orthodoxy has been characterized by ambivalence and multivocality, oscillating between freedom and control, civil society and the state, nationalism and transnationalism, projecting different images of itself to believers, the Russian state, global Orthodoxy, and international politics.

More recently, however, and especially by way of the constitutional amendment of the Russian Federation in 2020, the place of the Church inside the Russian state appears to have consolidated in the form of close church–state cooperation and a power-confirming and nationalist agenda of traditional values. At the same time, the support of the Church on the level of society and popular culture has been waning, with some cases of spectacular protests against the Church. The existence of a pro-Orthodox consensus among Russians seems increasingly uncertain.

This Special Issue invites analyses of current events that add new material and original data to the field, and welcomes contributions that explore the multiple and contradictory roles of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russian society and politics in the last thirty years. Scholars are encouraged to engage with the idea that the period of post-Soviet transition for the Russian Orthodox Church is indeed “over”, and to push the boundaries of the analysis of Russian Orthodoxy beyond the categories of post-Soviet revival or desecularization. 

This open-access Special Issue is co-sponsored by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (POSEC, grant agreement no. ERC-STG-2015-676804). 

Dr. Kristina Stoeckl
Dr. Dmitry Uzlaner
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Russian Orthodoxy
  • Russian Orthodox Church
  • society
  • politics
  • post-communism
  • nationalism
  • transnationalism
  • activism
  • protest

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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