Wilson Center Experts

Alexander Etkind

Kennan Institute

Russia and Eurasia
Ph.D. Senior research fellow, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Wilson Center Project(s):
Sects and Intelligentsia: Popular Mystical Sectarianism and Models of Rationalisty in the Pre-Revolutionary Russia
Sep 01, 1997
May 01, 1998

Project Summary

how popular mysticism interacted with European rational ideas in the secularized culture of the Russian intelligentsia, 1900-1917. Certain groups of the pre-revolutionary avant-garde aspired to combine aspects of the mystical sectarian tradition with modern ideals of total rationality. focus on the mystical sects as expressions of popular religion, and in their perception by Russian high culture. Socialization of land and property, communal control over marriage, collective upbringing of children, continual indoctrination were welcomed in Populist literature on Russian sectarians. Non-aceptance of basic sociobiological realities of human existence was a common theme in both sectarian discourse and fin de siecle intellectual culture