Ivanov’s new book explores impact of Reformation, Enlightenment in Russia

Written by Alison Parkins on Wed, 12/09/2020 - 06:41 |
Book Cover
Dr. Andrey Ivanov
Dr. Andrey Ivanov

Dr. Andrey Ivanov, associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, recently published “A Spiritual Revolution: The Impact of Reformation and Enlightenment in Orthodox Russia” (University of Wisconsin Press, 2020).

Ivanov’s book focuses on religious reform in the Russian Empire between the reigns of tsars Peter I (r. 1689-1725) and Nicholas I (r. 1825-1855), and demonstrates how the ideas of the European Reformation and the Enlightenment were pivotal to Russia’s ideological formation as a European – and eventually global – imperial power.

“Modern civilization, many would argue, is a product of centuries of formative revolutionary events, like the Reformation and the Enlightenment, which prompted societies to challenge the status quo and seek radical change,” explained Ivanov. “Yet very few consider the significance of these events or ideas outside of Europe and the West in general. For example, almost every survey of Reformation history has so far excluded Russia and most surveys of Russian history exclude the Reformation. So, when most people think of the Reformation, Luther and Calvin, not the Orthodox Church, usually come to mind. Similarly, for the Enlightenment, many think of Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin, not Russia’s enlightened bishops.”

Ivanov drew from sources obtained from the archives in Vatican, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Halle, Kyiv, Berlin, Vienna and Wolfenbüttel, among others.

“‘A Spiritual Revolution’ is an important addition to UW Press’s long-standing list in Russian history,” said Nathan MacBrien, editor in chief at UW Press. “In his exploration of the link between Russian Orthodoxy and Protestantism, Andrey elegantly explains complex ideas within a lively portrayal of political and social history.”

“I am very thankful for the encouragement and support I received from my colleagues in the history department and the College of Liberal Arts and Education,” said Ivanov. “Financially, I benefited from generous help from our university resources, including the College of LAE Dean’s Fund and the Scholarly Activity Improvement Fund; UW System-wide opportunities, such as the UW Institute for Research in the Humanities; as well as outside funding generously provided by the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University Houghton Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

For more information on the publication, visit https://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5836.htm.