Ideology and Religion


  • Cyril Hovorun



Ideology, secularism, totalitarianism, conservatism, liberalism


The article explores the genesis and varieties of the phenomenon of ideology, and its relationship with religion. It begins with the origins of the notion and term in Antoine Destutt de Tracy and Karl Marx, and then continues up to the most recent developments of conservative and liberal ideological schemata. The author pays particular attention to the totalitarian ideologies of Communism and Nazism. The article argues that ideology sometimes tried to replace religion, and sometimes mimicked it. In any case, it exercised a profound impact on churches. This impact is in most cases polarizing for the church, when the latter identifies itself with ideology and thus dramatically reduces itself. Among the instances of such an impact are “political Orthodoxy” in Ukraine, and the “Russian world” in Russia. The author concludes that the church should learn to distinguish what is ideological and what is theological.


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