Social request for the study of religion in the modern russian society in the evaluation of experts
The article presents some results of an expert analysis based on a public request for the study of religion in today's Russian society. According to expert estimates, a high level of social demand for the study of religion has been tentatively revealed, the qualitative heterogeneity of public interest in religion has been allocated to the main groups and institutions expressing and satisfying social interest in knowledge about religion. The main groups and institutions that express and satisfy the social interest in the knowledge about religion are highlighted. The nature of the subjective and objective demand for knowledge about religion on the part of society is analyzed. It is established that today in Russian society there is an interest in the knowledge of religion, it is qualitatively heterogeneous and is represented unevenly in society. Among the main groups – carriers and spokesmen of such interest – young people, mainly students, stand out. In terms of the transmission of knowledge about religion, the experts state the determining functional role of culture and mass communications; the state, family, church (the Russian Orthodox Church) and the confessional education system are noted as the most important institutions – the subjects of this transmission. The quality of mass everyday knowledge about religion is assessed as low, being at an elementary level, while the secular and confessional aspects of such knowledge are poorly differentiated. There are also more “advanced” requests for knowledge about the history and culture of religions; proper “spiritual” (life-sense) request; requests for knowledge about religious legislation, traditional religions. The objective need of the Russian society for knowledge about religion is associated with the need for enlightenment at the level of elementary religious knowledge (both secular and confessional); the main context of such knowledge is associated with questions of morality and education. Transmission of knowledge about religion in an appropriate quality is associated with the “engagement” of a wide range of secular and religious institutions, with an emphasis on educational institutions with specially trained highly qualified teachers. It is stated that there is a public request for teaching /learning about religion in secondary school. At the same time, the most significant conditions for its successful satisfaction are high-quality training of professional teachers and the attitudes of students’ parents – both to religion and in terms of their value position in relation to the very study of religion in school.