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Ukrainian Evangelicals and Russian Jews in Russian Revolutionary Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  A return to the Hebraic origins of the Christian faith and an emphasis on the Jewish roots of Christian theology was a prominent feature of the entire European Reformation. 2 From medieval times Russian religious radicals shared the same interest in the Judaic religious background of the first Christian communities described in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. So-called “Judaizers” (“Zhidovstvuiushchie”) of medieval Russia emphasized Judaic traditions of their Christian beliefs, including the celebration of the Sabbath rather than Christian Sunday. 3 Later on, during the eighteenth century in central provinces of European Russia, their ideas and religious practices laid a foundation to the religious movement of “Subotniki” (“Sabbatarians”), who changed their holiday from Sunday to Saturday, introduced circumcision and denied a universal authority of the Orthodox Church hierarchy. Saint Dmitrii of Rostov (Dmitrii Rostovskii) wrote that Subotniki “celebrated Jewish Sabbath and did not worship Christian icons because they were influenced by Lutheran, Calvinist and Judaizers’ ideas.” At the end of eighteenth and beginning of nineteenth centuries, the Subotniki movement spread to the south, to the new regions of Russian colonization in southern Ukraine and northern Caucasus, where their ideas of “Moses law” and “Hebrew rituals” affected local Molokans and others religious dissenters. By 1812 Subbotniki became especially popular among the Cossack settlers in Don Army and Terek regions. Some Molokans in Ukraine accepted Sabbatarian religious practices, 2 See: Lois Israel Newman, Jewish Influence on Christian Reform Movements (New York, 1925); Salo W. Baron, “John Calvin and the Jews,” Essential Papers on Judaism and Christianity in Conflict: from Late Antiquity to the Reformation, ed. by Jeremy Cohen (New York University, 1991), 380-400; Armas K.E. Holmio, The Lutheran Reformation and the Jews: the Birth of Protestant Jewish Missions (Hancock, Mich., 1949); Peter Toon, Puritans, the Millennium and the Future of Israel: Puritan Eschatology 1600 to 1660 (Cambridge, 1979); Richard H. Popkin, “Jewish Messianism and Christian Millenarianism,” Culture and Politics from Puritanism to the Enlightenment, ed. Perez Zagorin, (Berkeley, 1980), 70-71; David S. Katz, Philo-Semitism and the Readmission of the Jews to England, 1603-1655 (Oxford, 1982); Sergei Zhuk, “’La tradition hebraique’: les Puritans, les Calvinistes hollandaise et le debut de l’ambivalence des Juifs dans l’Amerique britannique coloniale,” Les Chretiens et les Juifs dans les societes de rites grec et latin. Approche comparative. Textes reunis M. Dmitriev, D. Tollet et E. Teiro (Paris, 2003), 123-164. 3 N. A. Kazakova, Ia. S. Lur’e, Antifeodal’nye ereticheskie dvizhenia na Rusi XIV-nachala XVI v., (Leningrad, 1955); Ia. S. Lur’e, Ideologicheskaia bor’ba v russkoi publitsistike kontsa XV-nachala XVI v., (Moscow-Leningrad, 1955). See also new research: Mikhail V. Dmitriev, “Joseph de Volokolamsk etat-il anti-Semite?” Les Chretiens et les Juifs dans les societes de rites grec et latin. Approche comparative. Textes reunis M. Dmitriev, D. Tollet et E. Teiro (Paris, 2003), 77-98, and Tat’jana A. Oparina, “La polemique anti-juive en Russie au XYIIe siecle,” Les Chretiens et les Juifs dans les societes de rites grec et latin, 165-182. 2

Authors: Zhuk, Sergei.
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background image
A return to the Hebraic origins of the Christian faith and an emphasis on the Jewish roots
of Christian theology was a prominent feature of the entire European Reformation.
From
medieval times Russian religious radicals shared the same interest in the Judaic religious
background of the first Christian communities described in the book of the Acts of the Apostles.
So-called “Judaizers” (“Zhidovstvuiushchie”) of medieval Russia emphasized Judaic traditions
of their Christian beliefs, including the celebration of the Sabbath rather than Christian Sunday.
3
Later on, during the eighteenth century in central provinces of European Russia, their ideas and
religious practices laid a foundation to the religious movement of “Subotniki” (“Sabbatarians”),
who changed their holiday from Sunday to Saturday, introduced circumcision and denied a
universal authority of the Orthodox Church hierarchy. Saint Dmitrii of Rostov (Dmitrii
Rostovskii) wrote that Subotniki “celebrated Jewish Sabbath and did not worship Christian icons
because they were influenced by Lutheran, Calvinist and Judaizers’ ideas.” At the end of
eighteenth and beginning of nineteenth centuries, the Subotniki movement spread to the south, to
the new regions of Russian colonization in southern Ukraine and northern Caucasus, where their
ideas of “Moses law” and “Hebrew rituals” affected local Molokans and others religious
dissenters. By 1812 Subbotniki became especially popular among the Cossack settlers in Don
Army and Terek regions. Some Molokans in Ukraine accepted Sabbatarian religious practices,
2
See: Lois Israel Newman, Jewish Influence on Christian Reform Movements (New York, 1925); Salo W. Baron,
“John Calvin and the Jews,” Essential Papers on Judaism and Christianity in Conflict: from Late Antiquity to the
Reformation, ed. by Jeremy Cohen (New York University, 1991), 380-400; Armas K.E. Holmio, The Lutheran
Reformation and the Jews: the Birth of Protestant Jewish Missions (Hancock, Mich., 1949); Peter Toon, Puritans,
the Millennium and the Future of Israel: Puritan Eschatology 1600 to 1660 (Cambridge, 1979); Richard H. Popkin,
“Jewish Messianism and Christian Millenarianism,” Culture and Politics from Puritanism to the Enlightenment, ed.
Perez Zagorin, (Berkeley, 1980), 70-71; David S. Katz, Philo-Semitism and the Readmission of the Jews to
England, 1603-1655 (Oxford, 1982); Sergei Zhuk, “’La tradition hebraique’: les Puritans, les Calvinistes hollandaise
et le debut de l’ambivalence des Juifs dans l’Amerique britannique coloniale,” Les Chretiens et les Juifs dans les
societes de rites grec et latin. Approche comparative. Textes reunis M. Dmitriev, D. Tollet et E. Teiro (Paris, 2003),
123-164.
3
N. A. Kazakova, Ia. S. Lur’e, Antifeodal’nye ereticheskie dvizhenia na Rusi XIV-nachala XVI v., (Leningrad,
1955); Ia. S. Lur’e, Ideologicheskaia bor’ba v russkoi publitsistike kontsa XV-nachala XVI v., (Moscow-Leningrad,
1955). See also new research: Mikhail V. Dmitriev, “Joseph de Volokolamsk etat-il anti-Semite?” Les Chretiens et
les Juifs dans les societes de rites grec et latin. Approche comparative. Textes reunis M. Dmitriev, D. Tollet et E.
Teiro (Paris, 2003), 77-98, and Tat’jana A. Oparina, “La polemique anti-juive en Russie au XYIIe siecle,” Les
Chretiens et les Juifs dans les societes de rites grec et latin, 165-182.
2


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