Ongoing research is based on the working hypothesis claiming that the sacralization of the war in Ukraine became effective in Russian media and public sphere because of 1) low level of media literacy and high level of media trust in deeply mediatized society, 2) religious identity distortions and 3) 'theology of war' designed by religious leaders and widely spread by media.
Main indicators of the war sacralization retrieved from media:
- removing 'war questioning' from the public debate by labelling the war as a 'holy' and 'sacred';
- sacralization of profane (blessing the nuclear weapons, consecrating special military church in Russia etc);
- profanation of sacred (religions dogmas are revisited, violated and transformed in political aims: Orthodox Christian, Muslim and Buddhist leaders in Russia openly justified the war in their homilies);
- ritualization of patriotism (national flags are becoming totems of national cults – as in Nazi times in Germany);
- invocation of God in political speeches and public monuments;
- quotation of religious texts by political leaders;
- militant power legitimization through religious rituals.
Dr. Victor Khroul is an affiliated researcher at University Bremen, and also an associate member of Center for Religious Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany) and non-residential fellow of Center for Media, Data and Society, Democracy Institute of Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). He was a co-chair of the Religion and Communication working group in the International Association for Media & Communication Research (2012-2018). In 2022 he received a honorary Award for the “Sciences, Arts and Peace” from Royal Academy of Belgium.