Postsecularism-the new ideology and the Hagia Sophia
There is a new ghost in the world: Postsecularism.A new ideiology wich takes into account the spiritual and religious revival in many states in the worlrd, bei t the Evangelicals, the Falungong in China, the Islamist in the Muslim world. Postsecularism claims that religion has to be upgraded, that value-conservatism and nationalism versus globalism could form a new international movement and an international axis of postsecular states which resist secularism, liberalism and globalism/internationalism. Main drivers of this development are the Evangelical and the right which voted for Trump, Bolsonaro, but also on the other side Putin-Russia which got now a new constitution in which Orthodox religion , God and an alleged 1000 years imperial history became the basic elements of Putin´s new postsecular society. The collective value-conservative subconscious of Russia exists less in the hierarchical institutions of a church, but in the widespread popular belief, as propagated by Dr. Kulikov, whereby the question is whether this is so widespread as a conservative popular belief in view of the broad capitalist tendencies towards secularization and decades of atheism or at least secularism are also existing. All this remains highly speculative.
However, Dr. Seidt, a former diplomat of the German Foreign Ministery thinks in his article „Russian Constitution: Orthodoxy and Empoire“that his was also a clever trick by Putin to reckognize the reviva of religion in many parts oft he world and had also geopolitical implications as there could be international geopolitcal post-secular axis between postsecualr states against secular, liberal and globalist states. „In the future, Russia will in any case be considered as god believing. The non-specific reference to God in the constitution can be used as a soft power in the Islamic world, in the evangelical movements that are strengthening worldwide, or in relation to the traditional Christian denominations. The positive reactions from representatives of the Catholic Church, the Islamic clergy, Jewish associations and other religious communities speak for themselves.(…)
Russian politics today is not determined by the secular, constitutional concept of the late 20th century, based on universal values. It is guided by the model of a territorially defined, politically organized, post-secular superpower of the 21st century. From a strengthened defensive position, Moscow’s leadership wants to preserve and expand international influence in competition with other powers.“
First testing ground is Erdogan´s transformation of f the Hagia Sophia into a Muslim mosque. The Greek and Russian church already porotested as the secular forces which see Attaturk´s laizism and general secularism abolished. Now we will see if Putin will get a compromise from Erdogan that also Christian prayers or messes are allowed in the Hagia Sophia or if his neo- Ottoman Empire is exclusive to other religions. However, even if this was the case, the other religoius minorities were inferior religions and dhimmis.
Alexander Rahr, Gazprom adviser fort he EUand Germany, son of the promoter of Orthox religion and NTS member Gleb Rahr also proposed a New East Policy with the EU and the West based on a common Christian heritage. Should a New East Policy with Russia be designed and based on interests, not on values, but then again on the basis of a supposed common Christian heritage. In the Global Review interview with Alexander Rahr, he also supports the idea of a New East Policy based on common interests in the face of pandemic, climate change and geopolitical and geo-economic changes, but then he also speaks of the long lines of history and then advocates an alliance based on an alleged common Christian heritage. If one considers that the majority of Europeans – with the exception of Poland – are secular agnostics, atheists and esotericists, the Western Churches, with the exception of the Evangelicals, have continuous membership losses, the European, especially the German mainstream Christianity is rather liberal and not conservative of values, how then a New East Policy should be possible on this supposed common Christian heritage?
Right radical movement like PEGIDA claim that they defend the supposed Christian Ocident and a allegedly common Christinan heritage, which would result more in a regime change in the West in favor of conservative authoritarianism or clerical fascism hiding under the camouflage name of a common Christian heritage and the Christian Ocident, and has always been and still is especially a concept and a catch phrase of the culture struggle of the right , as an excellent FAZ article once showed.
While it can be assumed that Putin is conservative of values, he, conversely, views religion from a Machiavellian point of view, uses it politically for his purposes, and would also sanction and slow down any idiosyncrasy of the Orthodox-Russian Church against himself or for another movement, but he was given freedom for reactionary thoughts and some philosophers and thinkers in the tradition of Boris Mezhuev or Nikolai Berdyaev and his „The Russian Idea“ which would start a completely new movement that could be imagined if the Putin system or any pro-Western orientations were collapsing. Unlike Alexander Rahr assumes, Putin should not be seen as believing Christians and it should also be doubted. that the majority of the Russians and Putin are believers, but they are already conservative of values and can also be mobilized for a new Russian revival movement, which is why this is not a contradiction. Boris Mezhuev prophesizes such a spiritual and political movement for the future thinks one cannot imagine its new definition and idea of conservatism at the present and that such a movement will solve the contradiction that Russia is part of the West without being part of it.
The framework for such a new conervative movement Mezhuev skretches in an oped in „The Amercian Conservtaive“: A Russian takes on The Benedict Option“: and in the contribution “Who calls oneself pro-imperial today risks being reputed a dissenter“:
„Is Russia able to make “Benedict’s choice“? Of course, to naively believe that Russia will be a single civilisation and how the single civilisation will up and completely turn its back to the “rotten West“ if we look realistically. But it seems that many things are going to happen in our history. I think some powerful ideological movement can suddenly arise in Russia from a place environment we just don’t have the idea of. Like communism in the past. This movement will need to solve two problems in Russia very quickly – how to be with the West and not to be with at the same time.
Source : https://m.realnoevremya.com/articles/1722-boris-mezhuev-who-calls-himself-pro-imperial-today-risks-to-be-reputed-dissenter?_url=%2Farticles%2F1722-boris-mezhuev-who-calls-himself-pro-imperial-today-risks-to-be-reputed-dissenter&utm_source=desktop&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=mobile#from_desktop
That Russia, be it Tsarist or Sovjetcommunist had to have a mission and to be missionary, some thinkers earilier proclaimed:
„On December 3, 1944, a strange event took place in newly liberated Paris. Nikolai Berdyaev, a religious philosopher and the best-known Russian émigré intellectual of his time, made a speech before an audience of elderly Russian émigrés in support of the Soviet Union. A contemporary account of the speech in the Manchester Guardian is among the materials on Berdyaev in the Hoover Archives.
Berdyaev said the messianism of two European nations—Russia and Germany—had an impact on their neighbors. The two, however, were not similar. German messianism was pagan in character, marked by a glorification of race, nature, and the fighting spirit, completely contradicting the spiritual message of Judaism and Christianity. Russian messianism, by contrast, was deeply rooted in Jewish and Christian thought. “The Russian messianic conception,” Berdyaev said, “always exalted Russia as a country that would help to solve the problems of humanity and would accept a place in the service of humanity.”
Berdyaev concluded that “recent changes in Russia, the changed attitude to religion and to the country’s traditions, make it not only possible but right for Christian Russians to rally to the Soviet government.”
In today´s Russia a faction of thinkers also thinks about a spiritual missionary movement and revival of Russia under a Christian heritage, be it with Putin or even beyond him.
Conclusion: The collective value-conservative subconscious of Russia exists less in the hierarchical institutions of a church, but in the widespread popular belief, as propagated by Dr. Kulikov, whereby the question is whether this is so widespread as a conservative popular belief in view of the broad capitalist tendencies towards secularization and decades of atheism or at least secularism are also existing. All this remains highly speculative.
However, right winged authotarian politicans in the West with an Evangelical electoral base have similar ideas. The evangelicals are not only a powerful force in the United States, but evangelical free churches are growing all over Latin America, Africa and also parts of Asia and are allying with chauvinistic right-wing politicians, now also in Bolsonaro Brazil.
The future foreign minister of the Brazilian government of Jair Bolsonaro, Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araújo, had given several speeches, articles and essays on Brazil’s foreign policy before taking office.
One of his central proposals is a kind of Christian Western alliance between Bolsonaro- Brazil, Trump- America and Putin- Russia. Brazil must form a new conservative axis with the United States and Russia.
Other conservatively governed states such as Italy, Hungary or Poland are also mentioned. With the new Brazil, all these states should defend their national sovereignty and the values of western civilization against „dominating globalism“.These are the free states „that oppose the demonization of national sentiment and the suppression of belief (especially Christian belief).Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araújo strives for the „desacralization of immigration, combating the ideology of the ‚untouchable immigrant‘, the universal right to migration“. These things should not overlap the right to „national sovereignty.“
The evangelicals are not only a powerful force in the United States, but evangelical free churches are growing all over Latin America, Africa and also parts of Asia and are allying with chauvinistic right-wing politicians, now also in Bolsonaro Brazil.
However, it is questionable whether Trump will come to such a deal with Putin and to such a Christian front, especially since in the United States hostility to Russia and China has been a priority since the new national security strategy, US superpower conflicts with both powers can no longer be ruled out, one Pentagon study already calls for plans for a war economy, which threatens the USA with the termination of the INF treaty, has just approved the largest defense budget and Putin warns of the danger of a nuclear war.
However, it shows how Christian fanatics, especially evanglicals, team up with radical right-wing nationalists and now also call for conservative Christian axes. There are 80 million evangelicals in the United States, most of whom are fanatical and at the core of the Christian right, as well as Trump’s core voters. Although there may be some moderate evangelicals such as Rick Warren, who also accompanied Obama’s inauguration as a speaker, the majority are more arch-conservative, reactionary and right-wing radical. It is these 80 million US evangelicals that make up the real core of the Israeli lobby in the United States and also support Middle East politics as a lobby group alongside other actors such as AIPAC, Republicans and Democrats. Trump’s Jerusalem decision should also be seen from this perspective, as the Evangelicals want to use the US power and Israel, as Crusader army, to wage the holy war over the Holy Land and Jerusalem against Islam. While established Catholic and Protestant churches are shrinking, evangelical free churches are flourishing all over the United States, Latin America, Africa and Asia. Bolsanaro’s core electorate includes exactly those evanglicals, which is why Bolsanaro’s foreign ministers are now calling for an international Christian and conservative front.
However, the so called post-secularism is a new ideology with major inherent mistakes and contradictions. First it ignores the vast masses of still secular masses, secondly it thinks that postsecularism would create an international postsecular value-conservative axis, neglecting national interests between nation states and geopolitical differences as well as religious fanatism and fundamentalism which will propably come in competition in which God one believes and doesn´t care about the common slogan that we unite in the belief in God independent which God. It also mixes private belief, religion and politics. Postsecularism doesn´t accept private belief , just the opposite. Private belief has to be subordinated under religion or politics and be instrumental for it and a new missionary movement. And it also remains uncertain if religion prevails over politics or politics over religion and normally religion or nationalism or a mix of both aren´t the best starting point for international cooperation. And how does atheist China or Northkorea fit in this ideological framework. Is nationalism enough or is the personal cult around neototalitarian, God-like Xi and Kim accepted as a „political religion“(Vögelin). Or has atheism to be abolished and the Falungong to seize power in China? Conversely it is a dangerous combination and even communism splitted in many schisms as Panarabism did or postsecularism will be -splitted between national interests of nationalists or religious differences or the combination of both. Therefore the holy promises of postsecularism will be hot air in the mid or longterm as secular authotarian and totalitarian ideologies were.