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Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective$
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Chris Hann and Hermann Goltz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260559

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260559.001.0001

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The Russian Orthodox Church, the Provision of Social Welfare, and Changing Ethics of Benevolence

The Russian Orthodox Church, the Provision of Social Welfare, and Changing Ethics of Benevolence

Chapter:
(p.329) 14 The Russian Orthodox Church, the Provision of Social Welfare, and Changing Ethics of Benevolence
Source:
Eastern Christians in Anthropological Perspective
Author(s):

Chris Hann

Hermann Goltz

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520260559.003.0015

This chapter takes up the question of why the increasingly public role of the Orthodox Church has been accompanied by public dissatisfaction, and in particular why the church's efforts to serve its followers and other constituents through charitable projects have generated such resounding public criticism. Through a study that compares the types of services provided by Orthodox communities with the perspectives of ordinary Russians, the chapter suggests that the central issue is not one of theological or liturgical differences, but rather a conflict over the nature of religious communities as social institutions and the ethics of compassion and benevolence associated with these communities.

Keywords:   Russian Orthodox Church, charity work, public dissatisfaction, religious communities, social institutions, compassion, benevolence

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