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Russian Culture: A look at its Religion and Art

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Russian Culture: A look at its Religion and Art

Mankind has always aspired to be the largest, biggest, strongest, highest, essentially the best in everything. This is not untrue for the Russians who have had the largest country in the world for quite some time now. Russia covers one-sixth of the entire world’s land mass and has had a significant part in modern history. However, in order to understand why a country has become what it is now, one must look at its culture. A country’s culture not only reflects its citizens now but also its history and future.

Many things reflect Russia’s diverse culture but two main things are art and the church.

Like many other countries, the church has played a great role in the formation of Russia. Russia’s main church is known as the Russian Orthodox Church, which is about one thousand years old and roughly half of the country’s population belongs to it. However, the vast majority of Orthodox believers do not attend church on a regular basis. Also most Russians don’t adhere strictly to a single belief. Instead, they combine traditional faiths with other alternative beliefs. Among these are witchcraft and astrology, which are especially popular among young people. Russians have also turned to numerous new beliefs, sects, and religious denominations. Nonetheless, the Russian Orthodox Church is widely respected by both believers and nonbelievers, who see it as a symbol of Russian heritage and culture.

The Russian Orthodox Church was originally one of the metropolitanates of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It was not until 1448 that the Russian Church became independent of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. It then continued to gain strength as the Russian state became stronger. Its role as the single unifying factor of the Russian people during the feudal divisions and during the Tartar invasions made it even more an integral part of Russian culture. People looked towards to church during those times and even now for a source of comfort. Even during the reign of the czars, they had to be ordained by the church as God’s chosen one in order to ‘rightfully’ hold the throne.

Additionally its contributions during war and the periods of restorations that occur after war have given it a powerful statue throughout Russia’s history. The most recent example of this was during WWII when the church was originally heavi...

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... story but it also reflects Russian society. This, however, isn’t why many Russians still continue to hold this piece of literature as central to their culture. Although, it tells of their heritage and society, it is the simple genius of the structure of the novel of –14-line stanza form-and his lyrics, which are complex and meticulous but are written with such ease that they appear effortless, simple, and natural.

Pushkin was followed by Zhukovsky and Gogol. They and their successors have managed to carry Russian art through to our modern times. As one can see art and religion together have come to shape much of what Russia has become. Through the voices of the metropolitanates and the art and literature of its writers and artists such as Pushkin, the image of what we now know as Russia has largely been created. Art and Religion have helped form the past and they will no doubt continue to influence Russian culture through the 21st century and beyond.

Bibliography

http://www.russian-orthodox-church.org.ru/hist_en.htm

Microsoft Encarta

http://www.und.edu/dept/lang/russian/162/culture.html

http://www.auburn.edu/~mitrege/russian-culture/internet-resources.html
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