Putin routinely mandates that his entire administration read certain philosophers that are overtly pro-Christian in order to promote his Christian vision for Russia
Putin continuously makes it clear that he envisions Russia as a Christian country.
In 2014, Putin called for the restoration of Kremlin’s historic Chudov (“of the Miracle”) and Voznesensky (Ascension) monasteries both of which were destroyed by the Bolsheviks. He also wants another church destroyed by the Bolsheviks in the Kremlin to be rebuilt.
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While the project is currently on hold until a scientific research is completed on the sites, the intent itself is symbolic.
The Kremlin is both the political and historic center not just of Moscow but of Russia. By calling for the restoration of these Christian buildings Putin repudiated the Soviet legacy with its atheist ideology and its record of anti-Christianity and reaffirms Orthodoxy as the heart of Russian culture.
A key element of Putin’s worldview is not just his commitment to the Russian Orthodox Church as an institution, but also his admiration for three 19th and 20th century Russian Christian philosophers—Nikolai Berdyaev, Vladimir Solovyov and Ivan Ilyin, all of whom he often quotes in his speeches. Russia’s regional governors were even instructed to read the works of these philosophers during their 2014 winter holidays.
The key message of these philosophers is of Russia’s messianic role in world history and of its need to preserve itself through Orthodoxy and restoration of its historic borders.
Studying the causes of Russia’s 20th century tragedy, Ilyin wrote:
“The Russian revolution is a reflection of the religious crisis we are living through now, an attempt to establish an anti-Christian public and state system thought up by Friedrich Nietzsche and economically and politically realized by Karl Marx. This anti-Christian virus was exported to Russia from the West…..
Losing our bond with God and the Christian tradition, mankind has become morally blind and gripped by materialism, irrationalism and nihilism.”