Верт П.: «Настало время написать обобщающую работу по истории религии в России...» (интервью)
American historian Paul Werth tell about contemporary state of Russian studies in the USA, his intellectual biography and the prospects of researches of religious freedom in Russia. Nowadays in America Russian studies and other country specific researches face with some problems. Nevertheless, the conferences are hold and the articles are published even in the regions, which are distant from the main scientific centers.
Paul Werth researches historical sources, which help to reconstruct the level of religious freedom in the tsar’s Russia. The historian analyzes interaction of religious institutes of Russian Empire and its administrative structure, national movements and ideological climate. Werth demonstrates that in the tsar’s epoch infringement of religious freedom was an effect of relationship between religious institutes and political, administrative and social structure of Empire, but not of religious world-view’s specifics.
The research of Russian Empire’s experience helps to draw the more general conclusion in the religion studies and social theory. The level of religious freedom is inversely proportional to usage of religion in the secular areas of the public sphere. But this observation can’t solve all the real problems. Of course, excessive usage of religious institutes by the government contradicts even the religious ideals. But the level of religious indifference, which we can see in the contemporary European and American society, is unacceptable for many believers. Is the religious indifference in the opposition to the right of confession’s freedom? Or it is the sole possible way to this freedom? Paul Werth considers, that every society should solve this question itself.