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The Medium for Demonic Energies: ‘Digital Anxiety’ in the Russian Orthodox Church
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
2015 (English)In: Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media, ISSN 2043-7633, Vol. 14, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Russian Orthodox Church’s (ROC) discourses about the internet are centered on the idea that digital technology is an ethically neutral instrument. At the same time, however, both the highest clerics and rank-and-file priests continuously express disquietude or overtly negative attitudes toward the internet. Even those actively involved in blogging have paradoxically developed this ‘digital anxiety’, expressing it through a slew of negative metaphors around the internet ranging from drug addiction, to meaningless chattering, to a swamp in which they are drowning to a vanity fair. In their defense, the internet has become associated with moral corruption, and a threat to the society and its core values, to such an extent that it is legitimate to speak about the ‘moral panic’ around the internet in the Orthodox discourses. The discrepancy between the officially accepted ‘instrumentalization’ interpretation of the internet, and widespread ‘digital anxiety’, however, signals that the internet is the issue for the ROC, in spite of its claim that it is not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 14, p. 1-25
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305684OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-305684DiVA, id: diva2:1038949
Available from: 2016-10-20 Created: 2016-10-20 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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http://www.digitalicons.org/issue14/the-medium-for-demonic-energies-digital-anxiety-in-the-russian-orthodox-church/

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Suslov, Mikhail

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