The Human Rights Doctrine of the Russian Orthodox Church

Wednesday, 29 February 2012, 4:30pm - 6:00pm, IWM library

Its Ideological Context and Political Implications

Series “Colloquia on Secularism”

In 2008, the Episcopal Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church published “The Russian Orthodox Church’s Basic Teaching on Human Dignity, Freedom and Rights”. The document constitutes a novelty in the history of Orthodox Christianity: for the first time an Orthodox Church has defined in an authoritative manner its understanding of fundamental human rights and liberties and has taken a clear position vis-à-vis the modern human rights regime. The lecture will shed light on the institutional and ideological context of the drafting and implementation of this document with reference to the period from 1999 to 2010. It will document milestones in the Russian Orthodox human rights discourse and show through a semantic analysis of the key-terms used how the position of the Russian Orthodox Church and of its main representatives in the human rights debate changes over time. Furthermore, the lecture looks at the practical and political impact of the Human Rights Doctrine since 2008 inside the church, on the national level and in the international arena.

Kristina Stoeckl has been a Marie-Curie-postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rome Tor Vergata from 2009 until the beginning of 2012, where she has conducted a research-project on the human rights debate in the Russian Orthodox Church. Since March 2012 she holds an APART-fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences with a research-project on Orthodox Christianity and multiple secularisms.
For more information please visit her website: