Religious thought and experience in the prison camps

Gullotta, A. (2020) Religious thought and experience in the prison camps. In: Emerson, C., Pattison, G. and Poole, R. A. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Russian Religious Thought. Oxford University Press, pp. 581-592. ISBN 9780198796442 (doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198796442.013.35)

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The development of religious thought has often been marked by discord and conflicts between religions (and/or individual religious thinkers) and the State, which at times led to the repression of individuals and or groups of people united by the same confession. The Russian case is fully in line with this unfortunate tradition: from Nikon’s schism to the repression against all religions under the Soviet regime, Russian religious thought has often developed in repressive conditions. However, the Russian case has one distinguishing feature, that is, the extensive use of prison camps by Russian and Soviet authorities from the nineteenth century onwards, which has had a direct effect on some religious thinkers. The social and historical-cultural peculiarities of both Tsarist camps and the Gulag have shaped some of those thinkers’ views (for instance, Dostoevsky’s intellectual path was deeply influenced by his experience in the camp). Drawing upon both primary and secondary sources, this chapter aims at showing how the experience of detention in a Russian/Soviet prison camp has influenced some Russian religious thinkers such as Dostoevsky, Florensky, and Karsavin. It will also point readers’ attention to some lesser-known contributions to religious thought by philosophers, poets, and writers.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gullotta, Dr Andrea
Authors: Gullotta, A.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Oxford University Press
First Published:First published in The Oxford Handbook of Russian Religious Thought: 581-592
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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