Cover Osteuropa 2-4/2014

In Osteuropa 2-4/2014
Teil des Dossiers Religion im Konflikt

Catastrophe and Epochal Turning Point
The First World War and the Russian Orthodox Church

Alfons Brüning

Deutsche Fassung


For centuries, throne and alter were considered indivisible in the Russian Empire. Nonetheless, after the outbreak of the First World War, one searches in vain for aggressive church support for the monarchy. The harmony of church and state had eroded. There is nothing analogous to Protestant war theologians or Catholic war sermons. There are theological reasons for this. The church legitimized the war, because it served to defend “Russian soil”. Theologians and religious philosophers used the struggle against the Central Powers as an opportunity to redefine the Slavophile idea. Some saw the war as a signal to overcome the divisions within the Orthodox world. But the church largely limited itself to alleviating the misery that followed in the wake of the war: pastorally on the front, charitably at home.

(Osteuropa 2-4/2014, pp. 263–278)