Alternative Opinions about Vaccination in Religious Discourse

Keywords: religious communication, polemical discourse, speech strategies, speech tactics


This article examines speech strategies and tactics in religious communication in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of the work is to consider the features of the speech behaviour of communicants during the pandemic crisis. The research methodology is based on the theory of speech communication to some extent present in modern works on the study of discourses of various types, the study of the peculiarities of religious communication, communicative/speech strategies, and tactics applied to different speech material. The researcher refers to texts published in Orthodox media and on Orthodox websites: sermons, comments in Orthodox forums, and posts in social networks. As a result, the author reveals the polemical nature of this segment of religious discourse. For instance, it contains neologisms with evaluative connotations, such as цифровой концлагерь (digital concentration camp), псевдопандемия (pseudo-pandemic), коронобесие (corona-frenzy), коронокризис (corona-crisis), ковид-диссиденты (covid-dissidents), антипрививочники (anti-vaccinators), антиваксеры (antivaxers), ковидиоты (covidiots), антивакс-сектанты (anti-vax sectarians), ковидофобы (covidophobes), вакциноборцы (vaccine fighters), вакцина каннибала (cannibal vaccine), вакциноскептики (vaccine sceptics), etc. The author characterises two types of addressees: 1) those denying the existence of the pandemic and/or the need for preventive measures and/or vaccination; 2) those recognising the fact of the pandemic and/or the need for preventive measures and/or vaccination. The former are characterised by a confrontational type of communication, as they choose strategies of discrediting and manipulation by means of accusations, insults, slander, sarcasm, appeals to “authority”, etc. They violate the principles of cooperative communication and show verbal aggression. The various phobias that the communicants of this group demonstrate are due to a misunderstanding of the soteriological and eschatological teachings of the Church. The addressees of the second group use a speech strategy of persuasion through interpretation, explanation, references to their own experience, and the authority of the Church. The communicants of this group obviously aim for conflict-free communication.

Author Biography

Natalia Dyachkova

Dr. Hab. (Philology), Rector, Missionary Institute. 

12, Karl Marx Str., Yekaterinburg, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-5417-9611


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How to Cite
Dyachkova, N. (2022). Alternative Opinions about Vaccination in Religious Discourse. Quaestio Rossica, 10(1), 53–69.
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