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Dissertation – In Search of Christian Sociality

My dissertation investigates theo-political visions about Christianity and Socialism by progressive members of religious intelligentsia and clergy in the hectic period of fin de siècle Imperial Russia. By reconstructing a neglected Eastern Orthodox Christian Socialist tradition, the dissertation presents the history of pre-revolutionary discussions of matters and concepts central to current debates within the Russian Orthodox Church and in post-Soviet societies.

The research is conducted in the comparative framework of European history; it has a contextual approach with an emphasis on interactions, especially between clergy and the laity; and it devotes special attention to the role of religion in the public sphere. The main argument of the dissertation emphasises the emergence of a socially sensitive theo-political language in the beginning of the twentieth century which developed out of Eastern Orthodox theology and propagated the creation of a Christian obshchestvennost’, a Christian public sphere or public sociality, independent of the state.