The Russian Orthodox Church, the largest and most powerful religious institution in Russia, has become one of the central pillars of Vladimir Putin's authoritarianism. While church attendance remains low, the religiously inspired rhetoric of traditionalism has come to dominate the mainstream political and media discourse. Has Russia abandoned its atheist past and embraced Orthodox Christianity as its new moral guide? The reality is more complex and contradictory. Digital sources provide evidence of rising domestic criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church and its leadership. This book offers a nuanced understanding of contemporary Russian Orthodoxy and its changing role in the digital era.
Topics covered within this book include:
- Mediatization theory;
- Church reforms under Patriarch Kirill;
- Church-state relations since 2009;
- The Russian Orthodox Church's media policy;
- Anticlericalism vs. Church criticism; and
- Religious, secular, and atheist critiques of the Church in digital media.
Using contemporary case studies such as Pussy Riot's Punk Prayer, this book is a gripping read for those with an interest in media studies, digital criticism of religion, religion in the media, the role of religion in society, and the Russian Orthodox Church.