To the Question of the Connection of Westernization with Non-conventional Religious Traditions in Russia
O. S. Khlyakin
The article presents a hypothesis explaining the fact why Russian autochthonous heterodox Christian denominations (the Old Believers, the Molokans) were supplanted by Western denominations (Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists, Baptists, Evangelical Faith Christians) during the last century. Basic idea is that autochthonous religious denominations were part of the traditional society and shared its common beliefs (monarchism, parents’ supervision over their grown-up children). Industrialization and Westernization of Russia destroyed their social base (agrarian civilization), broke community ties and lead to atomization of individuals. Religious organizations of American origin emerged as a form of socio-cultural creativity of people downgraded and atomized by the urban industrial civilization. This form can be seen as a sign of adaptation of people to urban civilization. In any case, these denominations share a number of common ideas with the industrial civilization: democracy, freedom of conscience and denial of the past, which takes the form of breaking with traditional religious traditions.
modern religious movements, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostals, Westernization, traditional society