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Christianity and DemocratisationFrom Pious Subjects to Critical Participants$
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John Anderson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719077388

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719077388.001.0001

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The Orthodox hesitation: the ‘liberal-democracy’ paradox

The Orthodox hesitation: the ‘liberal-democracy’ paradox

(p.158) 6 The Orthodox hesitation: the ‘liberal-democracy’ paradox
Christianity and Democratisation

John Anderson

Manchester University Press

This chapter addresses liberalism and pluralism. It explains how traditionally dominant churches have handled the acceptance of a wider range of sexual difference, with the focus on homosexuality, and the growth of religious free markets. The chapter then investigates the role of Orthodoxy in civil-society-building in Russia and the experience of minority Orthodox communities in the USA. For all religious institutions, the pluralism associated with democratic political orders creates real problems. It is suggested that Eastern Orthodoxy has struggled with the democratic experiment in countries where it has traditionally been dominant. An impressionistic survey of the Orthodox experience in America largely mirrors that of the much larger Catholic community. The Russian Orthodox Church's political presence and anti-pluralist stance in a context of incomplete or ‘managed’ democratisation has been one of a number of factors that have hindered the full acceptance of social and political pluralism in Russia.

Keywords:   liberalism, pluralism, homosexuality, religious free markets, Eastern Orthodoxy, Russia, USA, democratic political orders, Orthodox Church

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