New Conference: "Religion, Media and Civil Society" (10–13 Dec. 2015, Moscow)

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Invitation and Call for Papers



10–13 December 2015

Moscow, Russia



It is widely recognized today that religion plays an important role in the formation of moral values and other essential norms which determine the spiritual dimension of society and of the individual. However, every religion imposes certain limitations on its adherents which can come into conflict with the principles of civil society such as freedom of belief, freedom of speech, freedom of the press.

In post-soviet Russia religion is becoming a more and more important factor in social life. Civil society is also in the process of formation and its values are being gradually assimilated by the Russian people. As we live in an informational society, the image of religion is to a significant extent formed and determined by the mass media, which affects the perception of religion by the general population. The role of the media is crucial in resolving (or, on the contrary, exacerbating) conflicts between religion and those freedoms on which civil society is founded. That is why it is so important to discuss the ways in which religion, the media and civil society can and should interact.

In the course of the conference, it is intended to address the following questions: 

  • Inter-confessional and inter-religious dialogue as covered in the Russian media;
  • relations of the Russian Orthodox Church and the state; the image of the Orthodox Church in the media;
  • new religious movements, their place in Russian society and their images in the media;
  • nationalism and religion in today’s Russia and how this is portrayed in the mass media;
  • the use of religion in politics in Russia and the role of the media in that area;
  • the responsibility of the media in covering religious issues;
  • the role of religious and theological education in the formation of civil society. 

This list does not exhaust all aspects of the topic announced in the title of the conference but provides a focus for expected discussion.


Those who wish to present a paper should send a summary (500 words at most) by email to St. Andrew’s Institute by 15 October 2015. The Organizing Committee selects papers for the Conference and sends invitations to the speakers. The full texts of all selected papers will have to be submitted by 1 December 2015. The working languages of the conference will be Russian and English.

Papers are scheduled for 20 minutes each. Some of the papers will be published in St. Andrew’s quarterly Pages: Theology, Culture, Education. Registration form can be found on St. Andrew’s website Registrations, summaries and papers should be sent to:

Mikhail Tolstoluzhenko

St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute

Jerusalem St. 3, Moscow, 109316, Russia

Tel/Fax: +7 495 6702200; +7 495 6707644



The Conference will assemble on Thursday, 10 December for the opening ceremony in the evening. Participants will depart after breakfast on Sunday, 13 December. The organizers can assist the speakers in finding suitable accommodation in Moscow. In some cases scholarships to cover accommodation and other expenses can be given upon request.