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6 Eschatological Expectations in Post-Soviet Russia: Historical Context and Modes of Interpretation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explains eschatological expectations in post-soviet Russia. It traces the three waves of repression against members of the eschatological movements. The first occurs during the mid-1920s and was directed primarily against their leaders and most active members. The second wave coincided with the years of collectivization and was already widespread. Finally, the third wave occurred during the years of the Great Terror. The question arises why the eschatological expectations were so persistent in the Russian Empire, in the former Soviet Union, and now in post-soviet Russia. A possible interpretation is to see the appearance of eschatological movements in the twentieth century as a side effect of the teaching of Old Believers and charismatic movements. The eschatology of the Old Believers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and of Orthodox Christians in the twentieth century reveal a typological similarity rather than a direct influence.

Keywords: eschatological expectations; Old Believers; Orthodox Christians; post-soviet Russia; Russian Empire



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