Dukhovnost’ in Russia’s politics
Religion, State and Society
Taylor & Francis
38 - 55 p.
Orthodox Church, secularisation, desecularisation, Russia
The word dukhovnost’, which is now mostly translated as ‘spirituality’, has been increasingly used in Russian discourse for almost twenty years. This exploratory article shows that it is a notion, fraught with tensions, which retains pre-Soviet and Soviet legacies alongside post-Soviet influences. Dukhovnost’ is deemed to be a creative force conveying civilisation and guaranteeing the union and harmony of the Soviet and now Russian population, transcending divisive confessional beliefs. It elevates the ‘nation’ above its multiethnic and multifaith specificities and facilitates a distinction between ‘them’ and ‘us’. It is a key element in the development of Russian patriotism. As presented by the political elite, dukhovnost’ is a system of rather vague values that may be used to form the political community. In the 2000s it has become an amorphous concept, not entirely secular, and not entirely religious.