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The ideas of the Protestant Reformation, followed by the European Enlightenment, had a profound and long-lasting impact on Russia’s church and society in the eighteenth century. Though the traditional Orthodox Church was often assumed to have been hostile toward outside influence, Andrey V. Ivanov’s study argues that the institution in fact embraced many Western ideas, thereby undergoing what some observers called a religious revolution.
Embedded with lively portrayals of historical actors and vivid descriptions of political details, A Spiritual Revolution is the first large-scale effort to fully identify exactly how Western progressive thought influenced the Russian Church. These new ideas played a foundational role in the emergence of the country as a modernizing empire and the rise of the Church hierarchy as a forward-looking agency of institutional and societal change. Ivanov addresses this important debate in the scholarship on European history, firmly placing Orthodoxy within the much wider European and global continuum of religious change.
About the Author
Andrey V. Ivanov is an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.
“Ivanov breaks new ground in his exploration of the link between Orthodoxy and Protestantism. Theological and political concepts are explained with clarity, and the evolution of abstract ideas is embedded in a lively portrayal of political and social history. It will become the go-to book on Russian Orthodoxy in the eighteenth century.”—Alexander M. Martin, author of Enlightened Metropolis: Constructing Imperial Moscow, 1762–1855
“Tells a compelling and historiographically important story by way of intellectual and institutional archaeology. Ivanov brings historical nuance to a neglected and generally misunderstood piece of history.”—Patrick Lally Michelson, author of Beyond the Monastery Walls: The Ascetic Revolution in Russian Orthodox Thought, 1814–1914
“Well-researched and provocative. . . . Engaging and thought provoking.”—Canadian-American Slavic Studies
“A seminal and detailed study that is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. . . . A ground-breaking study.”—Midwest Book Review