Year of Graduation
The Economic Ethics of Orthodox Christianity: analysis of the interviews with priests
Faculty of Sociology
The increasing importance of religion in Russia (79% of the population consider themselves Orthodox Christians) raises the question about the way it influences the population, in particular, the way it changes the economic ethics. Max Weber in his celebrated work "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" showed how religion can influence the economic sphere of human activity. A number of researchers, among them some contemporary authors, confirm the existence of this connection. While substantial part of the Russian population in our country consider themselves Orthodox Christians, the question about the nature of possible influence of Orthodox Christianity in the way it determines modes of action in economic sphere becomes especially relevant. In comparison to other Christian denominations, Orthodoxy is definitely understudied. Moreover, it is crucial to mention that the vast majority of papers that were actually investigating the nature of Orthodox Christianity ethics relied on dogmatics, life descriptions of the Saints, etc. However, Weber, in order to understand the “world of senses” of a Protestant man, studied Baxter – a popular writer in pastoral theology and strictly differentiated between dogmatics, ethics and practice.In Orthodoxy priests turn out to be the only mediators comparable to Baxter. Thus, the aim of the paper was to figure out the main categories of Orthodox Economic ethics by studying their narratives.The research relies on 8 in-depth interviews (1h50min each in average) conducted with priests from Moscow, Moscow region and Сhita region.The main finding of the study is in revelation of significantly different meaning of notions (in comparison to these in the papers based on doctrines) that though sound the same are filled with other senses and lead to a whole different approach to economics than these described in the literature.