Chapter

The Russian Orthodox Church, the Provision of Social Welfare, and Changing Ethics of Benevolence

Chris Hann and Hermann Goltz

in Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260559
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945920 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520260559.003.0015
The Russian Orthodox Church, the Provision of Social Welfare, and Changing Ethics of Benevolence

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This chapter takes up the question of why the increasingly public role of the Orthodox Church has been accompanied by public dissatisfaction, and in particular why the church's efforts to serve its followers and other constituents through charitable projects have generated such resounding public criticism. Through a study that compares the types of services provided by Orthodox communities with the perspectives of ordinary Russians, the chapter suggests that the central issue is not one of theological or liturgical differences, but rather a conflict over the nature of religious communities as social institutions and the ethics of compassion and benevolence associated with these communities.

Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church; charity work; public dissatisfaction; religious communities; social institutions; compassion; benevolence

Chapter.  9947 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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