Orthodox Radicalism:
Political Doctrine of the Christian Brotherhood of Struggle

Teslya A.A.,

Leading Researcher, Academia Kantiana, Institute for Humanities, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, mestr81@gmail.com

elibrary_id: 616154 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.05.05
For citation:

Teslya A.A. Orthodox Radicalism: Political Doctrine of the Christian Brotherhood of Struggle. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 5. P. 43-56. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2018.05.05


The intensification and radicalization of Russian political life during the 1905 revolution have brought to life several original attempts to reconsider the established position of the Orthodox Church in the Russian Empire and, in general, to rethink the role of religion in modern politics. A special place among these attempts is occupied by the “Christian Brotherhood of Struggle”, an Orthodox political organization established in Moscow in 1905 on the initiative of V.P. Sventsitsky. While the political Christian doctrine of the Brotherhood is based on the opposition of the Church and the state, and unlike a whole series of other synchronous doctrines, in this opposition the state recognizes the “divine” nature, but belongs to the “natural” order, the pagan world (but not devoid of grace). Following the teachings of V.l. Solov’ev’s world process is interpreted as “divine-human” and the process of “deification”, while not having a this-sided end. Thus, both orders, the one of the Church (as the order of anarchy), and the order of the state are synchronous, and the task of the Church is to live within the state being free from it, giving it what it rightfully has, which does not contradict the Church – and, at the same time, trying to transform the world in a Christian way to the extent that it is feasible. Since the nature of the state is pagan, the Church must remain forever “the Church militant,” reconciliation with the state means reconciliation with imperfection, lack of faith – and, consequently, falling into sin. The historical significance of the Brotherhood is a clear statement of the issues of Christian politics and possible methods of political action for the Church in the conditions of the late-modern political community.


Reformation; modern Orthodoxy; Christian policy; Christian socialism; “Christian Brotherhood of Struggle”.


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