Zabaev Ivan

The Social Network of the Orthodox Parish Community: Possibilities For Applying the Analysis of Social Networks to the Sociology of Religion

Zabaev Ivan, Prutskova Elena, (2013) "The Social Network of the Orthodox Parish Community: Possibilities For Applying the Analysis of Social Networks to the Sociology of Religion ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2013, vol. 48, pp. 120-136 (in Russian).


This article examines the understanding of the social network and lays the foundation for the possibility of applying the social network approach to the sociology of religion. During the last twenty years, Russian sociological circles have been actively discussing the question of whether Orthodoxy exerts any influence on contemporary Russia. Until the present, the amount of influence has been calculated by examining how people identify themselves and by how frequently they practice their religion. With the help of an apparatus of network analysis, an attempt is made in this article to detect still another way religion influences Russian today. The authors suggest a threepart typology of the way a contemporary person relates to religion: conversion, linkage through a social network, linkage through publicly visible marks of religiosity. With the aid of the foregoing, one can hazard the hypothesis that the second factor is of prime importance especially in countries threatened by forced secularization. The authors question the social mechanics gearing the functioning of contemporary Russian society and attempt to calculate the potential outreach of the contemporary Russian Orthodox parish. Data collected by the authors allow one to suppose that the influence of linking oneself to religion through and amid the various facets of life of the average Russian may be just as effective as the conversion experience


sociology of religion, analysis of social networks, parish community, religiosity, Russian Orthodox Church


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Zabaev Ivan