Major Department

Political Science


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2018

Honors Major Advisor

John S. Nelson

Thesis Mentor

William M. Reisinger


Using primarily news articles from 2000-2018, legislation of the Russian state, and official stances of the Russian Orthodox Church. I seek to answer what motives are at play in the relationship between the Russian state under President Putin and Russian Orthodox Church. Literature on the subject views the relationship as one in which the Church is a mere tool of the state. Viewing it in this way restricts analyses through the lens of the Russian state’s domestic and international interests. This view underappreciates that the Russian Orthodox Church is an institution with its own ends. Through an examination of services each provide the other, I find that the two exist in a symbiotic relationship in which each other’s existence is important for the prosperity of the two. From this, I suggest that the Russian Orthodox Church should be elevated more in status than simply a junior partner of the state. This lens captures a bigger picture of Russian foreign and domestic affairs in suggesting that the root of some Russian motives stem by extension from the Russian Orthodox Church, due to this symbiotic relationship.


Russia, Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill, Symbiosis, Relationship, Putin

Total Pages

36 pages


Copyright © 2018 Kyle J. Chapman