The Doukhobors: History, Ideology and the Tolstoy-Verigin Relationship

Bumgardner, April (2001) The Doukhobors: History, Ideology and the Tolstoy-Verigin Relationship. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In 1894, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy first came in contact with the obscure "heretical" sect called the Doukhobors, or Spirit Wrestlers. Once acquainted, a sense of mutual respect and interdependence developed between the writer and the sect as a whole. From what type of religious and social climate did the Doukhobors emerge? How closely does Tolstoy's personal philosophy correlate to that of the Doukhobor faith? Pacifism, vegetarianism, anarchism and a belief in non-institutionalized religion are aspects traditionally shared between the writer and the sectarians. What other historical and ideological factors contributed to Tolstoy's interest in groups, such as the Doukhobors and their faith-based cousins, the Molokans? By completing his novel "Voskreseniye" ("Ressurrection"), and by using the royalties on behalf of the Doukhobor cause, Tolstoy enabled this sect to emigrate to Canada in 1899, and to escape further persecution at the hands of the tsarist government. Certainly Tolstoy's generous financial contribution toward the Doukhobor emigration indicates he did influence their futures in some way. In which area, however, did Tolstoy most greatly influence Doukhobor thought? In what ways and to what extent did Tolstoy shape and challenge the moral and practical thought of the then incumbent leader, Petr V. Verigin throughout their fifteen year correspondence?

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Robert Porter
Keywords: Russian history, Slavic literature
Date of Award: 2001
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2001-76168
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 16:32
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 16:32
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/76168

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