Workshop "Media, Religion and Civil Society" (16 May 2013, Moscow)


  Media, Religion and Civil Society

 16 May 2013, Moscow


Russia experiences today a difficult period in its history: civil society is in the process of formation and its values are being gradually assimilated by the Russian people. Issues such as spiritual and liberal values, democracy, ‘national idea’, ways in which the state and the society should develop, the role of religion, etc. are constantly debated in the media.

In the post-soviet Russia religion is becoming an important factor in social life. At the same time, as we live in informational society, the image of religion is to a significant extent pictured and determined by the mass media. This affects the perception of religion by the general public, and has a great impact on the place of religion in society.

It is widely recognized today that religion plays an important role in formation of moral values and other essential norms which determine the spiritual dimension of the society and of the individual. Civil society guarantees lots of freedoms, including freedom of belief, but at the same time all religions put their own limitations on their adherents which often come into conflict with liberal freedoms. The role of the media is crucial in resolving (or, on the contrary, exacerbating) such issues, that is why it is important to discuss the ways in which the media, religion and civil society can and should interact.

At the proposed workshop the following issues will be discussed: 

  1. Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church and the state and its image in the media.
  2. Media influence on Church and society issues.
  3. New religious movements, their place in Russian society and their images in the media.
  4. Nationalism and religion in today’s Russia and how this is portrayed in the mass media.
  5. Use of religion in politics in Russia and the role of the media in that.
  6. Responsibility of the media in covering religious issues.
  7. The role of religious and theological education in the formation of civil society.
  8. Interconfessional and interreligious dialogue in the Russian media.

Representatives of different religious communities, theologians, scholars and journalists from Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities, as well as from abroad, are invited to take part in this workshop which will take place in Moscow on 16 May 2013.

The Moscow Workshop is part of the European Forum on Media, Religion, and Democracy coordinated by Sigtunastiftelsen, Sweden. Seminars and workshops have been held or planned in: 

Norske Kirkeakademier, Trondheim, Norway Orthodox Academy of Vilémov, Czech Republic Stichting Oikos/Knowledge Centre Religion and Development, Utrecht, the Netherlands AGAPE Centro Ecumenico, Prali, Italy Casa Cares, Regello, Italy Evangelische Akademie der Pfalz, Speyer, Germany Mediedagarna i Göteborg (Meg), Gothemburg, SwedenPaulus-Akademie, Zürich, Switzerland Sensus m.fl. på Almedalsveckan, Visby, Sweden Supraśl Academy, PolandUppsala University Innovation, Sweden Corrymeela, Belfast, Ireland Home of Hope, Brașov, Romania Lärkkulla Folk Academy, Karis, Finland