Church-state relations in post-Soviet Georgia: “deprivatization” of Georgian orthodoxy

Keskin, Serhat
This thesis analyzes the relationship between the Church and State in post-Soviet Georgia, and goes on to discuss the growing power of the Georgian Orthodox Church (GOC) and its impact on secularism, politics and society. It is argued that the power of the GOC, both in Georgian society and politics, is derived from its historical significance and from the role it played in the post-Soviet period. It is argued further that these factors, along with its presence in the public space, constitute a challenge against secularism and Western values. Based on the views of José Casanova, it is suggested that the “deprivatization” of religion experienced in Georgia differs from Western experiences. This thesis makes use of both a documentary research, including the 1995 Constitution, the 2002 Constitutional Agreement, statements of the Patriarch and high ranking priests, reports of national and international NGOs and organizations, and field researches conducted in Tbilisi and Batumi in 2015 and 2017. During the field researches, 30 in-depth interviews were conducted with the elites and experts. The field researches revealed that the failure of politicians in the post-Soviet period and their need for political legitimacy contributed to the growth in the power of the Church in the public sphere. Although the process of “deprivatization” of religion in Georgia does not necessarily comply with the three legitimate instances put forward by Casanova by which the Church enters the public sphere, the Georgian Orthodox Church has become a powerful institution in the public sphere. The findings have also demonstrated that although the separation of the Church and state is legally binding, the principle of non-establishment is not fully realized.


The "Turkish Humanism Project" in the early Republican period
Serezli, Güneş Altınbaş; Nalbantoğlu, Hasan Ünal; Department of Sociology (2006)
This dissertation aims at analyzing the debates among intellectuals concerning humanism, and concurrently designed “Turkish Humanism Project” during the nation/identity-building process in the early decades of Turkey’s Republican Era. During İnönü Era (1938-1950), the nationalism and westernization of Atatürk’s reforms turned into an uncompromising secularism, and consequently humanist culture and “humanism” became the quasi-formal ideology of the state. In order to spread the newly designed cultural policy...
Persecution of Bahai's in Iran : an historical overview and contemporary insights
Korkmaz, Merve; Şen, Mustafa; Department of Middle East Studies (2013)
This thesis analyzes the persecution of Baha’is in Iran within its historical and contemporary background. The thesis will give examples from the other minority groups in Iran and through this, the grounds behind the persecution of Baha’is in Iran will be more elaborated in the light of state-religion, state-minority relations and also it will analyze the “persecution” phenomena in identity formation of Baha’is.
"Fatcts, meanings, and cosmologies" : Bektashi responses to the abolition of religious orders in 1925
Harmanşah, Rabia; Erdemir, Aykan; Department of Middle East Studies (2006)
This thesis investigates Bektashi responses to the abolition of religious orders in Turkey in 1925. In order to understand the immediate impact of the legislation among Bektashis, I analyze three series of articles and a novel written in that period, while also tracing the repercussions of similar narratives which were continued to be used by Bektashis in the subsequent decades. I, thereby, explore the ways in which Bektashis developed alternative narratives rationalizing and justifying the abolition of the...
Premises and assumptions of the Ottoman State tradition paradigma : a critical evaluation of Metin Heper's contribution
Kaya, Safiye Yelda; Yalman, Osman Galip; Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2005)
In this thesis, Metin Heper̕s analysis of the Ottoman state and state-society relations is examined. Heper̕s analysis is evaluated as an exemplar of the Ottoman state tradition paradigm. The examination of Heper̕s studies is intended to shed light on the premises and assumptions of this paradigm. In particular, the study focuses on the way Heper characterizes Ottoman state-society relations in contradistinction to the prevalent pattern of state-society relations in Western social formations so as to demonst...
The New ‘ideology’ of secularism in Turkey: a critical inquiry
Ercan, Damla; Bodirsky, Katharina; Department of Sociology (2016)
This thesis aims to analyse the new interpretation of secularism, which was adopted by the Constitutional Court of Turkey and thus become integrated into ‘the state’ in 2012. Having long been recognized with its controversial interpretation of secularism, allegedly being hostile towards religion, the Court changed its interpretation by redefining secularism with an emphasis on ‘freedom’ of religion. This study intends to critically engage with this shift manifested in a strategic ‘state’ institution by rega...
Citation Formats
S. Keskin, “Church-state relations in post-Soviet Georgia: “deprivatization” of Georgian orthodoxy,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.