Prutskova Elena

Religiosity and basic values of Russians (based on the European Social Survey and Orthodox Monitor)

Prutskova Elena (2017) "Religiosity and basic values of Russians (based on the European Social Survey and Orthodox Monitor) ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2017, vol. 72, pp. 126-143 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201772.126-143


The article examines the relationship between religiosity and basic values in Russia. Basic values are measured by the Schwartz's Portrait Value Questionnaire. The analysis is based on the data of the European Social Survey conducted in 2012 and the Orthodox Monitor survey conducted in 2012 as well, which is a representative survey of churched Russian Orthodox Christians. Usually based on the results of mass surveys, the connection of basic values with religiosity in Russia is very weak. One possible reason is the use of inappopriate indicators to measure the degree of religiosity. One of the most important characteristics that distinguish churched Orthodox Christians is regular Communion, which presupposes quite serious preparation, fasting and Confession. People make an attempt to rethink their views, values, and change their behavior. If this happens with a certain regularity, then it can lead to a gradual change in basic values, conditioned by religiosity. Such working out the best of oneself may not occur if a person just attends religious services, but does not receive Communion. Churched Orthodox are much more committed to the values of Conservation and Self-Transcendence, and less to the values of Openness to change and Self-Enhancement. One of the unexpected results was the discovery of significant differences in the values of Universalism, in which the churched Orthodox Christians are noticeably ahead of the average Russians, while in most previous studies the relationship of religiosity to the values of Universalism was either negative or absent, and only rarely was weak positive. Also, despite the general low commitment to the values of Openness to change, the differences are due to the great rejection of the values of Hedonism and Stimulation, while the values of Self Direction differ from the average Russians only slightly.


religiosity, inchurchedness, Orthodox Christianity, parish community, core Church members, basic values, Conservation values, Openness to Change, Self-Enhancement, Self-Transcendence, Orthodox Monitor, European Social Survey


  1. Chesnokova V.F. Tesnym putem: process vocerkovlenija naselenija Rossii v konce XX veka (A Narrow Path: The Process of Churching of Russian Population at the End of the XX Century). Moscow, 2005.
  2. Davidov E., Schmidt P., Schwartz S.H. "Bringing values back in: The adequacy of the European social survey to measure values in 20 countries" in Public Opinion Quarterly. 2008. Vol. 72. No. 3. P. 420-445.
  3. Durkheim E. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. London, 1964.
  4. ESS Round 6: European Social Survey Round 6 Data (2012). Data File Edition 2.3. NSD – Norwegian Centre for Research Data, Norway – Data Archive and distributor of ESS data for ESS ERIC, December, 1, 2016, available at: http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org (20. 01. 2017).
  5. Gennerich C., Huber S. Value Priorities and Content of Religiosity – New Research Perspectives. Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie. 2006. Vol. 28. No. 1. P. 253–267.
  6. Glock Ch.Y. "On the Study of Religious Commitment" in Religious Education. 1962. Vol. 57. Sup. 4. P. 98–110.
  7. Herk H. van, Poortinga Y.H. "Current and Historical Antecedents of Individual Value Differences Across 195 Regions" in Europe. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 2012. Vol. 43. No 8. P. 1229–1248.
  8. Inglehart R., Norris P. Sacred and Secular: Religion and Politics Worldwide. Cambridge, New York, 2004.
  9. Magun V., Rudnev M., Schmidt P. "Within- and Between-Country Value Diversity in Europe: A Typological Approach" in European Sociological Review. 2016. Vol. 32. No. 2. P. 189-202.
  10. Magun V.S., Rudnev M.G. "Bazovye cennosti rossijan v evropejskom kontekste" (Basic Values of Russians in the European Context) in Obshhestvennye nauki i sovremennost' (Social Sciences and Modernity). 2010. No. 4. P. 5–17.
  11. Magun V.S., Rudnev M.G. "Zhiznennye cennosti rossijskogo naselenija: shodstva i otlichija v sravnenii s drugimi evropejskimi stranami" (Life Values of the Russian Population: Similarities and Differences in Comparison to other European Countries) in Vestnik obshhestvennogo mnenija. Dannye. Analiz. Diskussii (Russian Public Opinion Herald). 2008. No. 1(93). P. 33–58.
  12. Magun V.S., Rudnev M.G., Schmidt P. "Evropejskaja cennostnaja tipologija i bazovye cennosti rossijan" (Russian Basic Human Values through the Lens of the European Value Types) in Vestnik obshhestvennogo mnenija. Dannye. Analiz. Diskussii (Russian Public Opinion Herald). 2015. Vol. 121. No. 3-4. P. 74-93.
  13. Meuleman B., Billiet J. Religious Involvement: Its Relation to Values and Social Attitudes. Cross-Cultural Analysis: Methods and Applications / ed. by Eldad Davidov, Peter Schmidt, Jaak Billiet. New York, 2011. P. 173–206.
  14. Prutskova E.V. "Vlijanie religioznosti na bazovye cennosti naselenija evropejskih stran: jeffekt pervichnoj religioznoj socializacii" (Religiosity and Basic Values in European Countries: the Effect of Primary Religious Socialization) in XIV April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. Vol. 3 / ed. by E. Yasin. Moscow, 2014. P. 527–536.
  15. Roccas S., Schwartz S.H. Church-State Relations and the Association of Religiosity with Values: A Study of Catholics in Six Countries. Cross-Cultural Research. 1997. Vol. 31. No. 4. P. 356–375.
  16. Rokeach M. Part I. "Value Systems in Religion" in Review of Religious Research. 1969. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 3–23.
  17. Saroglou V., Delpierre V., Dernelle R. Values and Religiosity: a Meta-Analysis of Studies Using Schwartz’s Model. Personality and Individual Differences. 2004. Vol. 37. No 4. P. 721–734.
  18. Schwartz S., Butenko T.P., Sedova D.S., Lipatova A.S. "Utochnennaja teorija bazovyh individual'nyh cennostej: primenenie v Rossii" (A Refined Theory of Basic Personal Values: Validation in Russia) in Psihologija. Zhurnal Vysshej shkoly jekonomiki (Psychology. Journal of the Higher School of Economics). 2012. Vol. 9. No. 2. P. 43-70.
  19. Schwartz S.H. A Proposal for Measuring Value Orientations across Nations Questionnaire Development Package of the European Social Survey. Chapter 7. 2003. P. 259-319, available at: http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/docs/methodology/core_ess_questionnaire/ESS_core_questionnaire_human_values.pdf (24. 03. 2017).
  20. Schwartz S.H. Computing Scores for the 10 Human values. Documentation for ESS-1. 2003, available at: http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/docs/methodology/ESS1_human_values_scale.pdf (24. 03. 2017).
  21. Schwartz S.H. Human Values. From Item to Index. European Social Survey Education Net, available at: http://essedunet.nsd.uib.no/cms/topics/1/4/2.html (22. 03. 2017).
  22. Schwartz S.H. Universals in Content and Structure of Values: Theoretical Advances and Empirical Tests in 20 Countries. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology / ed. by M.P.Zanna. San Diego, CA, 1992. Vol. 25. P. 1-65.
  23. Schwartz S.H., et al. Refining the Theory of Basic Individual Values. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2012. Vol. 103. No. 4. P. 663-688.
  24. Schwartz S.H., Huismans S. Value Priorities and Religiosity in Four Western Religions. Social Psychology Quarterly. 1995. Vol. 58. No. 2. P. 88–107.
  25. Sibley Ch.G., Bulbulia J.A. "How Do Religious Identities and Basic Value Orientations Affect Each Other Over Time?" in The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 2014. Vol. 24. No. 1. P. 64–76.
  26. Zabaev I.V., Oreshina D.A., Prutskova E.V. Tri Moskovskih prihoda: osnovnye social'no-demograficheskie pokazateli i ustanovki predstavitelej obshhin krupnyh prihodov (Three Moscow Parishes: Main Socio-demographic Characteristics and Attitudes of the Large Parish Communities Members). Moscow, 2012.

Information about the author

Prutskova Elena

Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities, 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Email: evprutskova@gmail.com.


The article is written in 2017 within the framework of the project "Economics as a problem: the theory of economic borders in political and theological thought" supported by PSTGU Development Foundation