The research for this article was financially supported by the Stanford History Department and its Weter Fund, Stanford Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, Stanford's Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Anatole G. & Josephine L. Mazour Fund for Students of Russian History, and the U.S. Department of Education. Shimshon Ayzenberg and Peter Gordon Mann deserve special thanks for reading and commenting on drafts of this article, as do the anonymous readers of The Russian Review, whose comments were helpful in revising.
Nationalist War Commentary as Russian Religious Thought: The Religious Intelligentsia's Politics of Providentialism
Version of Record online: 16 JAN 2013
Copyright 2013 The Russian Review
The Russian Review
Volume 72, Issue 1, pages 94–115, January 2013
How to Cite
STROOP, C. (2013), Nationalist War Commentary as Russian Religious Thought: The Religious Intelligentsia's Politics of Providentialism. The Russian Review, 72: 94–115. doi: 10.1111/russ.10682
- Issue online: 16 JAN 2013
- Version of Record online: 16 JAN 2013
Exploring the prominent role that the concept of Providence played in the worldview of Russian religious philosophers including Nikolai Berdiaev, Sergei Bulgakov, Vladimir Ern, Prince Evgenii Trubetskoi, and the Symbolist Vyacheslav Ivanov, this article demonstrates that their Christian Providentialist thinking was inherently political. One significant expression of these intellectuals' “politics of Providentialism” was the controversial commentary they produced on the First World War, which must be confronted and construed as operating within the discourse of Russian religious philosophy. Examining the concept of Providence represents a new approach to the study of Russian religious philosophy as Christian ideology, one that highlights the social significance of Russian religious philosophy in late imperial Russian civil society and that allows us to situate Russian religious thought in international and interconfessional comparative perspective, as one part of a broader twentieth-century European and American manifestation of politicized traditionalist Christianity that arose in response to the perceived cultural threat of nihilism.