Educational environment of sociology of religion

Smirnov М.Yu.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Head of the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, Culture, and Art at Leningrad State University (Pushkin), Saint-Petersburg, Russia

ID of the Article: 6689

For citation:

Smirnov М.Yu. Educational environment of sociology of religion. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 5. P. 84-92


The article analyzes the position of the sociology of religion in Russian education system. Sociology of religion is considered as study of the social manifestations of religion, carried out by means of quantitative and qualitative methods, which is conducted on theoretical, empirical and applied levels of scientific knowledge. The principle of the sociology of religion – any religious phenomenon must be considered from the intention to figure out social meaning in the actions of followers of religious doctrines, rituals, organizations in the structures of society. Sociology of religion combines two interrelated research areas: 1) research what is happening in religious communities, with characteristics of subjects of religious institutions and religious practices in their quantitative and qualitative indicators; 2) research of the conditions and circumstances of existence of religious associations in the social space. All these research tasks require a high level of professional training of specialists in sociology of religion. The author has considered the possible content of the training courses on the sociology of religion and posed the question of the relationship between sociology and religious studies in the training of specialists in the sociology of religion. To his mind, one of the important reasons for the weak development of the sociology of religion in Russia is the marginality of teaching this subject in high school. It is shown that the existing scientific and educational literature on the sociology of religion promotes awareness of this area of knowledge, but is not training in techniques and methods of the sociological study of religion. The author speaks critically about the confessional approach in the sociology of religion, evaluating this approach as limited and unproductive. It is concluded that in Russia there is a growing gap between objective necessity of sociological study of the dynamically changing situation around religion in the public space of modern society and the modest presence of sociologists of religion who are professionally engaged in research and expert work in this field.

high school; vocational education; religion; religious studies; sociology of religion; religious (confessional) sociology; educational literature


Androsenko S. (2016) In Saint-Philaret’s Institute was the discussion of teaching Sociology of Religion. URL: (accessed 31.05.16). (In Russ.)

Chesnokova V.F. (2005) Narrow Path: the Churching of the Population of Russia in the Late XX century. Moscow: Akademicheskiy proekt. (In Russ.)

Dobrenkov V.I., Kravchenko A.I. (2007) Fundamental sociology. In 15 vols. Vol.11. Culture and religion. Moscow: INFRA-M. (In Russ.)

Filatova O.G. (2000) Sociology of religion: lecture notes. Saint-Petersburg: Izdatelstvo Mikhailova V.A. (In Russ.)

Gapochka M.P., Kimelev Yu.A., eds. (1994) Sociology of religion: classical approaches: reader. Moscow: INION RAN. (In Russ.)

Garadzha V.I. (1998) Sociology of religion. In: Yadov V.A. (ed.). Sociology in Russia. Moscow: Institut sociologii RAN. (In Russ.)

Garadzha V.I. (2010) Sociology of religion. 4-th ed. Moscow: INFRA-M. (In Russ.)

Garadzha V.I., Garadzha E.V., Trophimov S.V. (2009) Sociology of religion: scientific and educational potential. Moscow University Bulletin. Sociology and Politology. No. 1: 86–100. (In Russ.)

Garadzha V.I., Rutkevich E.D., eds. (1994) Religion and Society: Reader on the sociology of religion. In 2 vols. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Garadzha V.I., Rutkevich E.D., eds. (1996) Religion and Society: Reader on the sociology of religion. Moscow: Aspekt Press. (In Russ.)

Kaariainen K., Furman D.E. (2007) New Churches, old Believers – old Сhurches, new Believers. Religion in post-soviet Russia. Saint-Petersburg; Moscow: Letniy sad. (In Russ.)

Kargina I.G. (2014) Sociological Reflections of Contemporary religious Pluralism. Moscow: MGIMO-Universitet. (In Russ.)

Kormina Zh., Panchenko A.A., Shtyrkov S.A., eds. (2015) The invention of Religion: Desecularization in the post-Soviet context. Saint-Petersburg: St.-Petersburg European Univ. Press. (In Russ.)

Krasikov A.A., Lunkin R.N., eds. (2016) The religious Missions in the public arena: Russian and foreign experience. Moscow: IE RAN. (In Russ.)

Krasnikov A.N., ed. (2000) Religious Studies: Reader. Moscow: Knizhny dom “Universitet”. (In Russ.)

Lobazova O.F. (2009) The Contradictions and Trends in the Development of Religiosity of Modern Russian Society. Moscow regional University Bulletin. Philosophy. No. 2: 97–107. (In Russ.)

Maikova E. Yu. (2004) Sociology of Religion. Tver’: Izdatelstvo TGTU. (In Russ.)

Mchedlov M.P., ed. (2008) Religion in the Consciousness of the People. Moscow: Institut sociologii RAN. (In Russ.).

Orlova A.V. (2011) Introduction to Sociology of Religion. Kemerovo: Izdatelstvo Kemerovskogo universiteta. (In Russ.)

Ostrovskaya E.A. (2005) The Religious Model of Society. Sociological Aspects of the Institutionalization of Traditional Religious Ideologies. Saint-Petersburg: St.-Petersburg State Univ. Press. (In Russ.)

Ostrovskaya E.A. (2013) Sociology of Religion: the Subject, the Methodology, the Main Themes. In: Skvortcov N.G., ed. Sociology: Textbook 2-nd ed. Moscow: Prospekt. (In Russ.)

Pautova L.A. (1999) Sociology of religion. Omsk: Izdatelstvo Omskogo universiteta. (In Russ.)

Pronina T.S. (2015) Religion and the search for identity in the post-Soviet Russia. Tambov: Izdatelskiy dom TGU. (In Russ.)

Rakhmanin A. Yu., ed. (2016) Religious Studies: Textbook. Moscow: Urait. (In Russ.)

Rousselet K., Agadjanian A.S., eds. (2006) Religious Practice in Modern Russia. Moscow: Novoe izdatelstvo. (In Russ.)

Rutkevich E.D. (2008) Sociology of Religion. In: Osipov G.V., Moskvicheva L.N. (eds) [Sociological dictionary]. Moscow: Norma. (In Russ.)

Samygin S.I., ed. (2015) Sociology of Religion. Rostov na Donu: Phenix. (In Russ.)

Shchukina N.P. (2015) Review: Afanasiev V. V. Orthodox Sociology. Moscow: INFRA, 2015. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 10: 166–170. (In Russ.)

Sinelina Yu. Yu. (2009) Concepts of Secularization in the Sociological Theory. Moscow: ISPI RAN. (In Russ.).

Smagin B.A. (2003) Sociology of Religion. In: Soldatov A.V. (ed.) Religious Studies. Saint-Petersburg: Lan’: 580–603. (In Russ.)

Smirnov M. Yu. (2016) Sociological Study of Religion. In: Rakhmanin A. Yu., ed. Religious Studies: Textbook. Moscow: Urait: 78–91. (In Russ.)

Smirnov M. Yu. (2011) Sociology of Religion: Guidebook. Saint-Petersburg: St.-Petersburg State Univ. Press. (In Russ.)

Smirnov M. Yu. (2015) Sociology of Religion in the Russian Education System. In: Lebedev S.D., ed. Sociology of Religion in Late Modern Society. Belgorod: Belgorod State Univ. Press: 117–122. (In Russ.)

Sociology of religion and contemporary religiosity (2001). The journal of sociology and social anthropology. No. 3: 182–188. (In Russ.)

Storchak V.M., Elbakyian E.S. (2012) Sociology of Religion. Moscow: ATISO. (In Russ.)

Veremchuk V.I. (2004) Sociology of Religion. Moscow: UNITI–DANA. (In Russ.)

Yablokov I.N. (2004) Sociology of Religion. In: Yablokov I.N., ed. Introduction to general religious studies. Moscow: Knizhnyi dom “Universitet”: 204–305. (In Russ.)

Yablokov I.N. (2014) Sociology of Religion: Theoretical Aspects. Moscow: MAKS Press. (In Russ.)

Content No 5, 2017