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Accepted Paper:

Tolstoyism in the milieu of the countercultural youth in the Soviet Union in the 1970-1980s  
Irina Gordeeva (Russian State University for the Humanities)

Paper short abstract:

The paper focuses the phenomenon of revival of the Tolstoyism in the milieu of the “Soviet” hippies in the mid 1970s-1980s. It explores some case studies in order to represent this choice as a form of the resistance against the Soviet ideology.

Paper long abstract:

Religious and ethical views of Leo Tolstoy had become a basis for a movement that was both religious and socio-political in its nature. It appeared in the late XIX century in Russia. In religious terms Tolstoyism represented a rare for Russia rational variant of "religion of love and conscience", and its members even called themselves as persons of "free-religious ideology".

In the 1930s, the movement was violently interrupted in Soviet Russia, and religious and ethical teachings of Tolstoy were banned. After the World War II there were only a few former ("old") Tolstoyans who completely stopped the spread of religious and ethical ideas of Tolstoy, they mainly served as underground keepers of Tolstoy's archives. In such a situation the appearance appear young Tolstoyans in mid 1970s became rather unexpected phenomenon. Most of them originated from the "Soviet" hippies. Therefore, the young generation intercepted religious traditions of the Tolstoyans, making their choice practically without any influence from the "old" Tolstoyans.

In the mid-1970s-1980s, the Soviet counter-culture milieu was characterized by religious search. The young generation in their search for new identities very often opted for the religious views (rarely - ideological), and the Tolstoyism became one of these options. The paper focuses on the specificity of the religious searches of the countercultural youth during the late socialism and provides some case studies in order to represent the phenomenon as one of the forms of the resistance against the Soviet ideology.

Panel P128
Alternative religiosities in the communist East-Central Europe and Russia: formations, resistances and manifestations
  Session 1