Vertical and horizontal system understanding in traditional structures
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan (Department of the History and Theory of Religions Faculty of Theology, Yerevan State University) [BIO]
In 1991 the collapse of Soviet Union has took place but not the Soviet System in its inner sense. The people in former Soviet countries still maintain the memory on vertical system of power which envisages vertical relationships between people through excluding elements of individualism and self-realization. The point is proved by many non-democratic systems after collapse of Soviet Union. The problem is that such kind of vertical systems and organizations exist in non-governmental and spiritual life which is more complicated then the above-mentioned.
I would like to examine the vertical systems in traditional religious organizations on the example of Armenian Apostolic Church. The primary Church was based on the horizontal relations because the bishop priest and deacon had equal rights. Based on the increasing number of followers and church structure and for facilitating governing problems the system transformed from horizontal to vertical. This brought to the gap not only between the high and low rank clergymen but between people and priesthood and therefore traditional churches become churches for “themselves”, not for community. The community (which is the church itself) is based on the collectivism which is supposed to contradict to individualism. But in my opinion within the traditional structures the collectivism and individualism are adjacent categories which need serious study and practical implementation. Such vertical system in governance and inner conflicts brought to the marginalization of spiritual views and concepts and the marginalization of church itself. It is quite interesting the study of adaptation mechanisms to prevent the further widening of gap and possible conflicts within social order.