Smirnov Mikhail

The Sociology of Religion in Russia: two observations

Smirnov Mikhail (2014) "The Sociology of Religion in Russia: two observations ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 2014, vol. 53, pp. 71-80 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201453.71-80


The author touches on two aspects of the sociology of religion in contemporary Russia. The first of these aspects is the loss of the Soviet-type institutions of the «scientific atheist» sociology of religion and the emergence of a new model of sociological research in the sphere of religion. The author notes both the existence of the objective motivation for sociological research of religion in modern Russia and the subjective understanding of the necessity of such research. The tradition of empirical research rooted in the Soviet period and preserved mainly by inertia is matched by the insufficiently developed scholarly theory. At the same time, professional community is not sufficiently institutionalized and does not enjoy the support of either the state or the society. Within this professional milieu an active search of self-implementation is underway both on the scholarly and on the institutional level. Another aspect addressed by the author is the current state of affairs in the Russian sociology of religion, which is represented by five principal segments: public opinion research services, research centers in academic institutions and higher educational establishments, the teaching of the sociology of religion, professional associations uniting researchers in the sociology of religion, online communities bringing together enthusiasts of the field. The situation with the sociology of religion in Russia is on the whole identified as the «luminal» phase during which, according to a well-known classification, the stage of «disconnection» from the former (Soviet) state of affairs is already past, whereas the fi nal, internally well-structured stage is still far ahead.


sociology of religion, research centers, public opinion study, professional associations of researchers in the sociology of religion.


1. Belova T. P. 2001 “Sociologija religii v sovremennoj Rossii: opyt, problemy, perspektivy” (Sociology of Religion in Contemporary Russia: Experience, Problems, Perspectives) in: Vestnik Ivanovskogo universiteta. Serija: Pravo. Ekonomika. Sociologija, vol. 4.
2. Garadzha V. I. 1998 “Sociologija religii (2006)” (Sociology of Religion 2006) in: Jadov V. A. (ed.) Sociologija v Rossii (The Sociology in Russia). Moscow, 1998.
3. Lopatkin R. A. 2001 “Sociologija religii v Rossii: opyt proshlogo i sovremennye problemy” (Sociology of Religion in Russia: Experience of the Past and Modern Problems) in: Gosudarstvo, religija, Cerkov’ v Rossii i za rubezhom, vol. 4, pp. 34–46.
4. Medvedko S. V. 2001 “Problemy metodologii sovremennoj sociologii religii v Rossii” (Problems of Modern Sociology of Religion Methods in Russia) in: Gosudarstvo, religija, Cerkov’ v Rossii i za rubezhom, vol. 2.
5. Mukharijamov N. M., Zakamullina M. N. 2009 “Sociologija religii: nauchnyj i obrazovatel'nyj potencial” (Sociology of Religion: Scientific and Educational Potential) in: Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Serija 18, Sociologija i politologija, vol. 1.
6. Jablokov I. N. Sociologija religii (The Sociology of Religion). Moscow, 1979.
7. Smirnov M. Yu. Sociologija religii: Slovar’ (Sociology of Religion: Dictionary). Saint-Petersburg, 2011.
8. Vozmitel A. A. 2007 “Sociologija religii v Rossii: problemy i perspektivy” (Sociology of Religion in Russia: Problems and Perspectives) in: Sociologicheskie issledovanija, vol. 2.
9. Ugrinovich D. M. Vvedenie v religiovedenie (Introduction to the Study of Religion). Moscow, 1985².

Information about the author

Smirnov Mikhail