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“HIV Is God's Blessing”Rehabilitating Morality in Neoliberal Russia$
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Jarrett Zigon

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267626

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267626.001.0001

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Synergeia and Simfoniia: Orthodox Morality, Human Rights, and the State

Synergeia and Simfoniia: Orthodox Morality, Human Rights, and the State

(p.73) Five Synergeia and Simfoniia: Orthodox Morality, Human Rights, and the State
“HIV Is God's Blessing”

Jarrett Zigon

University of California Press

This chapter highlights the Church's institutional view of HIV/AIDS in the context of morality, human rights, and the state. The Church sees drug addiction as a sin and a problem of immorality. But the sin is not simply a matter of immorality of the individual who uses drugs; it is also a reflection of the general lack of morality and spirituality in contemporary Russian society. To stop the spread of the epidemic, the Church has undertaken the task of reestablishing these foundations in society. The primary goal of the program is conversion. It is considered true recovery, which very few are able to achieve. To become enchurched, which is the acquisition of an embodied disposition of an Orthodox way of living, a person must come to embody Orthodox morality and learn to live a spiritual life. The notion of human rights is a driving moral motivation behind the Church's efforts. The approach to human rights, which provides the moral structures and standards of society, raises the question of the contemporary relationship between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian state.

Keywords:   orthodox morality, human rights, Russian state, drug addiction, immorality

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