From Orthodox Messianism to the Doctrine of the "World Revolution": Continuity or a Radical Break with the Past?

Cover Page

Cite item


In the 16th century, Moscow proclaimed itself to be the «the third Rome» and discovered the «special way» or Russian Orthodox Messianism doctrine. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of Russia's unique global historical role went beyond exclusively church discussions, and the idea of «Moscow as the Third Rome» acquired an important place in the structure of imperial ideology. Even after a break with the past, after the 1917 October Revolution, the country did not abandon the idea of Messianism, which organically «fitted» into the structure of Soviet ideology. At the same time, reanimation of messianic moods was carried out here in the format of the doctrine of the «World Republic of Soviets» and/or «World Revolution.» Of course, some backbone elements of old Messianism underwent a significant transformation, which can hardly be called secularization. The purpose of this article is to show that the time 1917 mid-1930s may be described with the help of a peculiar dialectic, as the unity of a radical break with the past and the specifically manifested continuity with it. Subsequently, despite large-scale changes, the idea of the «peculiarity» of the Russian way, firstly in Soviet and then in Russian society, including the specific perception of its past, continued to remain an influential political brand. This kind of discourse should be considered highly archaic today; however, it does not become an attribute of the distant past, retaining the attractiveness and even acquiring state ideology.

About the authors

Tatsiana Gerardovna Rumyantseva

Belarusian State University

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Professor, Department of Philosophy of Culture, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences

4, Nezavisimosty Av., Minsk, 220030, Belarus


  1. The message of Philotheus, hegumen of the Elizarovskaya desert, to the Sovereign Great Vasily Ivanovich of All Russia. BAN, collected. F. Pligina. No. 57, 21.5.15, hands. XVII century. A. 121. (In Russian).
  2. Atnashev T, Velizhev M, Zorin A. (eds.). A special way: from ideology to the method. Moscow: New Literature Review; 2018. (In Russian).
  3. Herder IG. Ideas for the philosophy of the history of mankind. M., 1977. (In Russian).
  4. Uvarov SS. On some common principles that can serve as leadership in the management of the Ministry of Education. 1833. In: River of the time. Iss. 1. Moscow; 1995. (In Russian).
  5. Uspenskii BA. A brief outline of the history of the Russian literary language (XI—XIX centuries). Moscow; 1994. (In Russian).
  6. Mamardashvili MK. Essay on modern European philosophy. Moscow : Progress-Tradition; 2010. (In Russian).
  7. Engels F. The principles of communism. In: K. Marx, F. Engels. Works. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Moscow; 1955. (In Russian).
  8. Berdyaev NA. The religious foundations of Bolshevism. Russian Liberty. 1917; (16—17). URL: russkoj_revolyucii.pdf (In Russian).
  9. Berdyaev NA. Origins and the meaning of Russian communism. Moscow: Science; 1990. (In Russian).

Copyright (c) 2021 Rumyantseva T.G.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies