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Living Faithfully in an Unjust WorldCompassionate Care in Russia$
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Melissa L. Caldwell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285835

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285835.001.0001

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Faith in a Secular Humanism

Faith in a Secular Humanism

(p.38) 2 Faith in a Secular Humanism
Living Faithfully in an Unjust World

Melissa L. Caldwell

University of California Press

This chapter presents the concept of a “secular theology of compassion.” Through a discussion of the ways in which Moscow’s religious communities cooperate to forge common cross-denominational interests through social justice projects, the chapter considers how clergy, staff, and volunteers in religiously affiliated welfare programs separate their personally held religious beliefs and theological philosophies from the larger ethical values that guide their work. Of particular concern are the political, spiritual, and ethical negotiations that take place between Russia’s Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christian communities as they strive to pursue shared goals of social justice while maintaining their respective histories and communities. Their collective efforts demonstrate how ethical values of empathy, care, and justice traverse, confuse, and even transcend religious/secular distinctions and provide opportunities for new shared spaces and practices of religiosity and compassion.

Keywords:   Russian Orthodox Church, Christianity, secular theology of compassion, interfaith cooperation, secular humanism

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