Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access September 30, 2017

Tolstoyism in the Late-Socialist Cultural Underground: Soviet Youth in Search of Religion, Individual Autonomy and Nonviolence in the 1970s – 1980s

Irina Gordeeva EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Theology

Abstract

The 1970s in the Soviet Russia were characterized by religious revival among the members of the Soviet counterculture milieu. The young generation often opted for religious ideas and Tolstoyism served as one such option. The article explores individual cases of coming to Tolstoyism, reading and perception of his ideas, as well as a general historical background of spiritual search of Soviet youth (hippies and others) of the period. The article demonstrates that all countercultural Tolstoyans shared two basic values - personal autonomy and nonviolence. They asserted the ideals of the free and individual search for the truth, of nonviolence, of anti-authoritarian humanism, a quest for a new, spiritual form of community, having nothing to do with obligatory Soviet-type communist, atheist, and materialistic collectivism. The spiritual alternative of the Tolstoyans was directed it not only at the individual, but at society as a whole fully anticipating that society would be improved. The research is based on the wide range of unexplored primary sources (rare samizdat texts and personal archives).

References

Alston, Charlotte. Tolstoy and His Disciples. The History of a Radical International Movement. London, New York: I.B. Tauris, 2014.10.5040/9780755621187Search in Google Scholar

Beskrovnykh, Anna. “Ob avtore.” In Moroz, Vladimir. Tolstoy v Moei Arestantskoi Zhizni (Vyderzhki iz Dnevnika 1974-1981). Sankt-Peterburg, 1996.Search in Google Scholar

Bombin, Mikhail. “Vzyskuia Grada.” Bulleten’ Khristianskoi Obschetvennosti, 3/4 (1987)Search in Google Scholar

Boobbyer, Philip. “Religious Experience of the Soviet Dissidents.” Religion, State and Society, 27 (3/4) (1999), 373-390.10.1080/096374999106557Search in Google Scholar

Boulgakov, Valentin. “Bolshevistskaia Reklama i Iubilei Tolstogo.” Segodnia, 244 (1928), Riga.Search in Google Scholar

Bourdeaux, Michael. The Role of Religion in the Fall of Soviet Communism. London: Centre for Policy Studies, 1992.Search in Google Scholar

Chepurnaia, Olga. “Obraschenie v Veru v Sovetskoe Vremia: Analiz Individual’nykh Istorii i Obschestvennogo Diskursa.” In Kul’tural’nye Issledovaniia, 217-236. Sankt-Peterburg, 2006.Search in Google Scholar

Demin, Viacheslav. Moi Etapy: Documental’nyi Roman, ili Ispoved’ Russkogo Cheloveka. Vospominaniia o Sebe, o Ludiakh, o Vremeni i o Moei Bor’be s Bol’shevizmom i Novym Mirovym Poriadkom. URL: http://ru-ppd.livejournal.com/6898.htmlSearch in Google Scholar

Ellis, Jane. The Russian Orthodox Church: A Contemporary history. London: Groom Helm, 1986, 160-161.Search in Google Scholar

Etkind, Alexander. Khlyst: Sekty, Literatura i Revolutsia. Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 1998.Search in Google Scholar

Fuerst, Juliane. “‘If you are going to Moscow, Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in your Hair’: The Soviet Hippie ‘Sistema’ and Its Life in, Despite, and with ‘Stagnation’”. In Reconsidering Stagnation in the Brezhnev Era, edited by D. Fainberg and A. Kalinovsky, 123-158. Lexington Books, 2016.Search in Google Scholar

Gorbunov-Posadov, Ivan. “Tolstoy i Sud’by Chelovechestva.” In Gorbunov-Posadov, Mikhail. Vospominaniia: V 3 chastiakh, Chast’ 1. Moscow: Gosudarstvennyi literturnyi muzei, 1995.Search in Google Scholar

Gorbunov-Posadov, Ivan. “Yasnaia Poliana: K stoletiu L.N. Tolstogo.” In Sbornik Komissii po Oznamenovani’u 100-letia so Dnia Rozhdeniia L.N. Tolstogo. Moscow, 1928.Search in Google Scholar

Gordeeva, Irina. “Zabytye Liudi”: Istoriia Rossiiskogo Communitarnogo Dvizheniia. Moscow: AIRO-XX, 2003.Search in Google Scholar

Iordanov, Marat. Dukhovnyi diumvirat: Lev Tolstoi i Ioann Blazhennyi. Moscow, 2013.Search in Google Scholar

Kovalev, Andrei. “Frustrirovannyi Kibal’chish: Dos’e. Konstantin Zvezdochetov.” In Art-Azbuka: Slovar’ Sovremennogo Iskusstva, edited by Max Frai, URL: http://azbuka.gif.ru/critics/kibalchish/Search in Google Scholar

Lebina, Natalia. Entsiklopedia Banal’nostei: Sovetskaia Povsednevnost’. Sankt-Petersburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2006.Search in Google Scholar

Lenin, Vladimir. “Leo Tolstoy as the Mirror of the Russian Revolution.” In Collected Works Vol. 15. Moscow, 1963, 202-209.Search in Google Scholar

Lobachev, Alexander. “Avtobiographiia.” In Khippi vo Lvove: Almanakh, 159-164. Lviv: Triada Plus, 2011.Search in Google Scholar

Lobachev, “Avtobiografiia”, Ch. 5. URL: http://zpalochka.narod.ru/bibl.htmlSearch in Google Scholar

Lobachev, Alexander. Kakomu Sueveriiu Inogda Nachal Podpadat’ L.N. Tolstoi v Kontse 1888 g. i Rasprostraniat’ Ego. URL: http://zpalochka.narod.ru/Search in Google Scholar

Madison, Andrei. “Anekdoty ob Andree Madisone.” In Madison, Andrei. Collected Works: 2 volumes. Saint Petersburg, 2009, Vol. 2, 179-180.Search in Google Scholar

Madison, Andrei. “Levyi Lev: Tolstoi kak Khippi, Pank and Anarchist.” In Otrazhenie. Saint Petersburg, 2004, 87-112.Search in Google Scholar

Mata Hari [Maria Remizova]. Puding iz Promokashki: Khippi kak oni est’. Moscow, 2008.Search in Google Scholar

Meitin, Georgii. “[Ot redaktora.]” Vek XX i Mir, 1 (1989).Search in Google Scholar

Meitin, Georgii. “Dva leta.” Yasnaia Poliana, 9/10 (December 1989 - April 1990).Search in Google Scholar

Meitin, Georgii. Stop. Flat. [unpublished memoir from the personal archives of G. Meitin]Search in Google Scholar

Memoirs of Peasant Tolstoyans in Soviet Russia, edited by William Edgerton. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.Search in Google Scholar

Mentzel, Birgit. “Occult and Esoteric Movements in Russia from the 1960s to the 1980s.” In The New Age of Russia. Occult andSearch in Google Scholar

esoteric dimension, edited by Birgit Mentzel, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Rosenthal, 151-185. Muenchen-Berlin: Verlag Otto Sagner, 2012.Search in Google Scholar

Mironenko, Vladimir. “Ne Nastoiaschee Vremia.” In Perelomnye Vos’midesiatye v Neofitsial’nom Sovetskom Iskusstve. Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrevie, 2014.Search in Google Scholar

Mistiko-ezotericheskie Dvizheniia v Teorii i Praktike. “Istoriia i Diskurs: Istoriko-filosofskie Aspekty Issledovanii Mistitsyzma i Ezoterizma: Sbornik Dokumentov Piatoi Mezhdunarodnoi Nauchnoi Konferentsii (December 2-5, 2011, St. Petersburg), edited by Sergei Pakhomov. Sankt-Peterburg, 2012.Search in Google Scholar

Moroz, Vladimir. Tolstoy v Moei Arestantskoi Zhizni (Vyderzhki iz Dnevnika 1974-1981). Sankt-Petersburg, 1996.Search in Google Scholar

Nosachev, Pavel, “Prolegomeny k Izucheniiu Sovetskogo Ezotericheskogo Podpol’ia.” Vestnik PSTGU I: Bogoslovie. Filosofiia, 4 (2012), 39-47.Search in Google Scholar

Ogilvy, James and H. Ogilvy. “Communes and the Reconstruction of Reality.” In The Family, Communes, and Utopian Societies. New York, 1972, 83-99.Search in Google Scholar

Ogorodnikov, Alexander. “Kul’tura Katakomb. K Opytu Istorii Pokoleniia.” Obschina, 2 (1978) (Memorial’s archives, Fonds 169, File 2)Search in Google Scholar

Pazukhin, Yevgeni. “Charting the Russian Religious Renaissance.” Religion, State and Society, 23:1 (1995).10.1080/09637499508431683Search in Google Scholar

Pivovarov, Viktor. “70-e: Smena Iazykovykh Kodov.” In Eti Strannye Semidesiatye, ili Poteria Nevinnosty. Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie, 2010.Search in Google Scholar

Prokopchuk, Yurii. “Nikolaev P.P.” In Lev Tolstoy i Ego Sovremenniki: Entsiklopediia. Moscow, 2010, 343-344.Search in Google Scholar

Riga, Sandr. “The Society of Ecumenical Christians Before and After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union.” Religion, State and Society, 22:4 (1994).10.1080/09637499408431665Search in Google Scholar

Riga, Sandr. Nonfiction. Riga, Sacramento, 2011.Search in Google Scholar

Rosenthal, Bernice Glatzer. “Occultism as a Response to a Spiritual Crisis.” In The New Age of Russia. Occult and esoteric dimension, edited by Birgit Mentzel, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Rosenthal, 390-420. Muenchen-Berlin: Verlag Otto Sagner, 2012.Search in Google Scholar

Savitskii, Stanislav. Anderground: (Istoriia i Myphy Leningradskoi Neofitsial’noi Literature). Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2002.Search in Google Scholar

Sedgwick, Mark. “Occult Dissident Culture: The Case of Aleksandr Dugin.” In The New Age of Russia. Occult and esoteric dimension, edited by Birgit Mentzel, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Rosenthal, 273-292. Muenchen-Berlin: Verlag Otto Sagner, 2012.Search in Google Scholar

Skiba, S.A. “Sovremennoe Tolstovstvo (Tserkov’ L’va Tolstogo).” Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta, seriia 7: Filosofiia, 5 (1998) 65-73. Search in Google Scholar

The Occult in Russian and Soviet Culture, edited by Bernice Rosenthal. Ithaca, London, 1997.Search in Google Scholar

Tolstaya, Alexandra. “Yubilei [L.N. Tolstogo v Yasnoi Poliane]. 1828-1928.” In Yasnaia Poliana: Neizvestnye stranitsy. Sankt-Petersburg, 2013.Search in Google Scholar

Tupikiv, Vlad. “Volodia Dzen-Baptist.” In Riga, Sandr. Nonfiction. Riga, Sacramento, 2011. Search in Google Scholar

Vishnia [Vishnevskii, Vladimir]. “Nastoiaschaia Istoriia L’vovskikh Motokhippi.” In Khippi vo Lvove: Almanakh. Lviv: Triada Plus, 2011.Search in Google Scholar

Vorobiev, Valentin. Vrag naroda: Vospominaniia Khudozhnika. Moscow: Novoe literatunoe obozrenie, 2005.Search in Google Scholar

Wiedemann, Vladimir. Neizvestnyi So’uz: Khippi-Mistiki-Dissidenty. Poslednye 20 let SSSR Glazami Insaidera. Avtobiograficheskii Roman, 1968-1991 [unpublished text].Search in Google Scholar

Wolf, Koenraad de. Dissident for life: Alexander Ogorodnikov and the Struggle for Religious Freedom in Russia. Grand Rapids, Mi-Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2013.Search in Google Scholar

Yashunskii, Roman. Moi Memuary [unpublished text].Search in Google Scholar

Yavor [Yavornitskii, Igor’]. “Grazhdane Rima.” In Khippi vi Lvovi. Lviv: Triada Plus, 2011. URL: http://www.lubava.info/database.php?mode=showtext&idx=675&pageid=0Search in Google Scholar

Zdravomyslova, Elena. “Culturnyi Anderground 1970-kh: Leningradskoe Kafe “Saigon” Glazami Zavsegdataia i Issledovatelia.” In Raznomyslie v SSSR i Rossii (1945-2008), edited by Boris Firsov. Saint-Petersburg: Izdatel’stvo Evropeiskogo universiteta, 2010.Search in Google Scholar

Zitzewitz, Josephine. Poetry and the Leningrad Religious-Philosophical Seminar 1974-1980: Music for a Dead Age. Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing, 2016.Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2017-7-4
Accepted: 2017-8-22
Published Online: 2017-9-30
Published in Print: 2017-9-26

© 2017

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

Downloaded on 28.11.2022 from frontend.live.degruyter.dgbricks.com/document/doi/10.1515/opth-2017-0038/html
Scroll Up Arrow