Inter-Department Research Laboratory «Religion and Society in the East»

Центр Религия и общество на Востоке

Head: Aleksei V. Sarabiev , Ph.D (History)

Our work

The Research Laboratory of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Religion and Society in the East” was created by decision of both the Director and the President of the Institute on November 16, 2015 as an inter-department “vertical” project-group in order to research a number of topics within history, social relations and political processes within the countries of the East.

Acting on the basis of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the group also involves the representatives from other scientific institutions of the Russian Academy of Sciences and high school institutions as well.

Work is planned within the following general topics:

  • Traditional religious communities in Eastern countries: issues of history and culture;
  • Historical milestones of interfaith relations;
  • The peculiarity of multi-confessional societies: past and present;
  • Shifts in ethnic and religious agenda;
  • Social reaction to realization of the power ambitions of religious movements and organizations;
  • Religious extremism and radical secularism in the “eastern” dimension;
  • Political participation of religious communities in the context of religious policies;
  • The public response to religious reform and reformist movements;
  • “Post-secular” in public discourse in the countries of the East.

As researching goes, it is possible to expand the problematic spectrum of the study and to include related issues in its orbit, for example: the economic aspects of religious communities; the philosophical and ideological positions of key religious figures and their influence on the flock; various aspects of missionary and proselytism; expansion or abrupt reduction of areas of religious communities, etc.

The work of the Research Laboratory is carried out in the following areas of basic research (in accordance with the Program of Basic Scientific Research of the State Academies of Sciences for 2013–2020, approved by order of the Government of the Russian Federation of December 3, 2012 No. 2237-p) with amendments (according to the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation of 31 October 2015 No. 2217-p):

  1. Study of the historical origins of terrorism, monitoring of xenophobia and extremism in Russian society; anthropology of extreme groups and subcultures; analysis of a complex of ethnic and religious factors in local and global processes of the past and present (study of the phenomenon of xenophobia; ethnic and religious extremism, ethnic and religious aspects of migration; factors of the formation of civil, ethnic and religious identities; the revealing of mechanisms to prevent interethnic and religious conflicts in Russia; developing programs to combat xenophobia; conducting ethnical and religious monitoring based on studies of the historical dynamics and the current state of inter-ethnic relations; the religious situation and migration processes; the study of the modern transformation of traditional archetypes in terrorist practice; the study of ethno-religious conflicts of the Middle Ages and early modern times in the Slavic world; study of the key ideas of the Sufi way of learning and the justification of a new methodological approach to the Sufi sources; a study of dogmas, ethical regulations and legal norms of traditional Zoroastrian society; the study of the history of the genesis and development of the religious doctrine of Babism in modern and contemporary history; analysis of the theory of knowledge in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy; expanding the range of analysis of ethno-confessional factors in the processes of interaction and collision of cultural traditions and influences in Russia, in the East, in Europe and America);
  1. Issues of the historical process theory; generalization of the experience of social transformations and the social potential of history (development of the theory of interaction between the modern state and society in the conditions of preserving and strengthening the role of national traditions, increasing the significance of the religious factor in public life);
  1. Study of the state transformation of the modern East, modernization issues, experience of innovative development, combination of modern and traditional elements in public life, features of political and economic evolution (development of interaction between the state and society in the East; features of the socio-political and socio-economic development of Asian-African countries; development theory of modernization of the Eastern states; the study of the process of preserving and transforming traditions).

Earlier, regular seminars were held at the Institute dedicated to the theoretical problems of studying the East, and following the example of this kind of researching meetings, an attempt is being made to revive interest in the key problem—the methodology of studying Eastern societies (both past and present)—within a series of thematic round tables. Since December 2017, a permanent seminar “Towards the Basics of the Methodology of Studying Traditional Communities of the East” has been operating, the events of which are held in the format of discussions of special reports.

The results of the Research Laboratory “Religion and Society in the East” are presented especially on the pages of the periodical of the same name (ISSN 2542-1530).

Its full-text issues are available on a separate website of the periodical:

Out of print:

Religion and Society in the East. Issue III, 2019. – 374 p. – ISSN 2542-1530; ISBN 978-5-89282-780-5 (January 2019) DOWNLOAD>>

Religion and Society in the East. Issue II, 2018. – 338 p. – ISSN 2542-1530; ISBN 978-5-89282-759-1 (January 2018) DOWNLOAD>>

Religion and Society in the East. Issue I, 2017. – 290 p. – ISSN 2542-1530; ISBN 978-5-89282-719-5 (April 2017) DOWNLOAD>>

Eastern Analytics (IOS RAS, Moscow), 2015, No. 3. Special Issue: Religion and Society in the East. – 84 p. – ISSN 2227-5568; ISBN ISBN 978-5-89282-689-1 (April 2016) DOWNLOAD>>

We invite our collegues in the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as all specialists interested in developing the proposed research topics to participate.


Of. 125, 12 Rozhdestvenka st., Moscow.