Secularism in Russian Society: Social and Philosophical Context
There are different views on the way legislated secularism is exercised nowadays. Hence almost all researches are concerned with application of legal norms. The authors think that relevance of the subject is conditioned by present day religious and state and inter-faith relations in the Russian society. Therefore there is need to reflect on the essence of secularism and its place in society. The analysis of the secularism concept in terms of social philosophy is presented. Some concepts, levels, and basic attributes of secularism presenting certain interest are considered. Secularism is viewed in such perspectives as: counter-religious, non-religious, and anti-religious. Viewing secularism as counter-religious there is some kind of opposition or even adversarial position. This conception was more characteristic of early understanding of secularism. The non-religious here means that this area is free from religion influence. The position that secularism is lack of religious is adhered to in the paper, and opinion of traditional denominations in Russia are given to substantiate the authors’ view. Basic models of secular state as well as its particular features and triggering conditions are also considered. The essence of secular state isn't clearly understood today. It can be claimed however that a secular state guarantees no dominance of religion in political matters. A state of this kind asserts independence of religious associations and various social groups. Though secularity is formalized in legislation in Russia the principle is not always observed. The authors come to a conclusion that equality of all religious associations as a basic requirement for secularism is significant. In view of this, in the context of contemporary society with miscellaneous interfaith space, in the age of rapid globalization and modernization, secularism adherence is necessary to avoid conflicts.