Main Theme

500th Anniversary of the Reformation: Ecumenism as Church and Public Phenomenon in Today’s Germany

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 was held in Ger‑ many for the first time as an ecumenical event. Within its framework, a number of important official church documents about rethinking the history of the Reformation were adopted, common worship services held, and a large number of projects implemented at the region‑ al, national and international levels.

A Typology of Interreligious Dialogue: Analysis of Existing Approaches

The concept of interreligious dialogue can be interpreted in many ways, denoting a wide range objectives, principles and formats of interaction between followers of different religions. The article discusses the classification of interreligious dialogue by various scholars. The article offers a comprehensive description of the main research approaches and allows the reader to get acquainted with the terminology used by the Western experts in this field.

Activists beyond Confessional Borders: The «Conservative Ecumenism» of the World Congress of Families

This article is devoted to the history of the World Congress of Families (WCF) and its interaction with Russian partners. The article begins with a story about Allan Carlson’s trip to Moscow in 1995, where as a result of a meeting with sociologists, the idea of creating a WCF was born. The author then analyses the cooperation between the WCF and the Russian Orthodox Church as an example of so‑called “conservative ecumenism,” which partly replaces classical, more liberal ecumenism, such as that presented by the World Council of Churches.

Whether and How Ecumenism, Anti-Ecumenism, and Conservative Ecumenism are Politically or Theologically Motivated: A View from the United States

The article discusses the phenomena of ecumenism, anti‑ecumenism and conservative ecumenism. The author sets a dual goal. The first is to identify the theological foundations of ecumenism and anti‑ecu‑ menism, and also to analyze conservative ecumenism in this research perspective. The second is to identify the political component of these phenomena. The author analyzes and criticizes the concept of “ecumenical consciousness” proposed by Andrey Shishkov.

Discussing the Concept of «Conservative Ecumenism»

The article continues the discussion of the concept of “conservative ecumenism”, proposed by the author in 2017 to describe conservative Christian alliances in defense of traditional values. Main debates have revolved around the use of the term “ecumenism” in the case of such alliances. The article proposes minimal criteria of being “ecumenical” — those that the author calls “ecumenical consciousness”. The question of whether striving for Christian unity is a necessary criterion of ecumenism is considered.

Gender Order and Romanian Orthodox Women in Italy: A Socio-Religious Perspective

This article offers a brief overview of recent theoretical socioreligious approaches to the study of gender order and religion. The authors elaborate them by linking to the reflections on religion’s encounter with (Western) modernity as applied to the case of Eastern Orthodoxy. The article then briefly reviews the official position of the Romanian Orthodox Church on the issues of gender order in the family.

Peter and Fevronia and the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity: Pronatalism and Unstable Gender Order in Contemporary Russia

This paper investigates the role of the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity in the deployment of Russian state family policy since 2006. It argues that the holiday is emblematic of a cooperative, rather than synchronous, relationship between Church and state in the promotion of pronatalism and so-called “traditional family values”, and highlights the ways in which public discourse around the holiday intentionally obscures internal contradictions within the dominant family ideologies of both institutions.

Theology of Decorum: Perspectives on Women’s External Appearance among Evangelical Christians-Baptists in the Late- and Post-Soviet Periods

This article uses oral history interviews to examine the memory of believers from Evangelical Christian-Baptist (ECB) churches regarding the requirements for women’s external appearance as a reflection of their personal piety. While discussing believers’ memory of the late Soviet period, the article  demonstrates that these congregations focused almost exclusively on women.

Marriage Ideas and Practices among Evangelical Believers in the Soviet Union in 1940–1980s: The Case of Central Black Earth Region

The scope of the present research is the evolution of marriage and family ideas in the Evangelical Christian Baptist movement after World War II in the Soviet Union. The author analyzed the special views on marriage among the Russian Baptists, found in the Baptist bulletin “Bratsky Vestnik” (Fraternal Bulletin), as well as in the archival documents from the Evangelical Christian Baptist churches of Tambov, Voronezh and Lipetsk regions. The author reconstructs the model of marriage relationships and family practices among the Evangelicals.

“Vocation in the Flesh”: Gender and Embodiment in Religious Anthropology of Contemporary Catholicism

In the early and medieval Christian tradition, the gendered body was understood as both an obstacle to the cultivation of virtues and a potential medium of transgression. The contemporary Catholic anthropology has another view of the subject’s body and its senses and desires. This article is concerned with the pastoral project of encouraging priestly and monastic callings in the Russian Catholic parishes. It also specifically looks at its rhetoric, placing significant emphasis on gendered embodiment.