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Place of religion in perception of the meaning of life: Russian and Ukrainian context
Parashchevin Maksym

PhD in Sociology

Senior Scientific Associate, Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

02232, Ukraine, Kiev, Shelkovichnaya Street 12, office #312

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The subject of this research is the role of religion in determination of the meaning of life among the believers in modern Russia and Ukraine. Religion, and Christianity in particular, has always been (and must be) the source of life for its successors. Realization by religion of such meaning-making and meaning-transmitting function is a substantial condition for the social importance and influence of religion. In modern societies, the scales of the religion’s social role is subtle and represents a subject for discussion. For the more precise understanding of the question of functionality of the religion, the modern societies are in need of a comprehensive analysis of religion’s inclusion into the social processes and mass consciousness. One of the possible aspects of the analysis lies in assessment of inclusion of the religion into conceptual structures of mass consciousness. Based on the conducted analysis, the author concludes that the ability of Orthodoxy to become an actual alternative to the dominant in modern societies “Western” value complexes is significantly limited, because the transmitted by Orthodoxy values (particularly the orientation towards referring of the life goals to the transcendent source) do not elicit the public response. It is demonstrated that for majority of the Russian and Ukrainian believers, the religion to a significant extent has stopped being the foundation of conceptual structure. This, in turn, along with the low level of church affiliation, weak familiarization with the Orthodox dogmatic, readiness for the independent formation of religious meanings out of the secular ideologies, extremely confine the orientation towards the transmitted by the Church meanings and values.

Keywords: spiritual crisis of society, Russia, Ukraine, meaning of life, Orthodoxy, social functions of religion, religion, peculiarities of perception of the meanings, values, wholeness of perception of the meaning



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