About ambiguous influence of orthodoxy on Russian mentality

Liberal Arts in Russia 2 (5):411--425 (2013)

Orthodox ethic is inconsistent with liberal values and the spirit of capitalism. This incompatibility sets limits on the rates of economic growth in Orthodox countries and determines their backlog from the most developed Protestant and Catholic countries at the present stage. In this paper is examined the hypothesis of the decisive role of geography and some random events in the adoption of Orthodox Russia and the formation of specific characteristics of Russian mentality, in particular, the messianic spirit. The adoption of Orthodoxy by Rus is viewed in accordance with concept of Akhiezer and his co-authors as a partial borrowing of foreign culture for further development of its own culture. From this point of view such borrowing was not sufficient. Unlike Germanic tribes Rus did not succeed in adoption enough to start a new period of cultural self-development. The Baptizing was a large-scale intentional action for modernization of Rus life-style through intensifying with a help of cultural borrowing. But this potential was not enough for genesis of innovations that required for further intensive development. Thus the Baptizing can be viewed as a step on the way of extensive development. In the future Russia would use same practice of adopting ‘modern, more advanced cultural resources and reproducing on their basis the same extensive paradigm‘ (Akhiezer A., Kliamkin I, Yakovenko I. History of Russia. The End or New Beginning? M., 2005). The Baptizing can be considered not only as some kind of start for Russian history but also as a choice of development pattern. This pattern would persist even in 20th century in the period when Christianity and Orthodox church would be discarded.
Keywords Mentality   Russia   Christianity   Protestantism   Catholicism   Orthodoxy   Ethics   Slavs   Byzantium   values   Chosen by God
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