Meeting of the Exeter University Orthodox Christian Society

 Dr. Ruth Coates (Bristol University): ‘Deification in Russian Religious Thought.’

 When:  Friday, 1 December, 6.00 pm

 Where: Amory Building 316, University of Exeter

 All are welcome

Refreshments provided.

Deification in Russian Religious Thought

In this talk Dr Ruth Coates will consider the Orthodox doctrine of deification in the context of Russian religious thought, focusing on the last two decades of the Romanov empire: a period known as the Russian religious renaissance. She will suggest that the concept of deification–becoming gods–was widely adopted at this time as a religious response to the apocalyptic anxieties evoked by the revolutionary atmosphere of the period and the anticipation of the collapse of the autocracy. Nevertheless, the reception of the doctrine of deification did not follow a straightforward path from ‘school’ theology and patristics into lay religious thought, and its expression took a wide range of forms of varying degrees of orthodoxy. In her talk Dr Coates will explore the routes by which the deification concept reached the Russian religious intelligentsia and discuss the variety of uses to which it was put.