In the early twentieth century, Sergii Bulgakov was a fierce opponent of Orthodox autocracy and developed concepts of Christian social(ist) politics. His later political thought included a “mystical vision of tsarist power” as well as reflections on how to fill the theocratic ideal with new content in the secular context of popular government. In the 1920s, Bulgakov transferred “the charisma of sacred power” to “the royal priesthood of the laity” and, despite some reservations, advocated a democratic state. In order to avoid the latter’s pitfalls, he especially emphasized the necessity of the rule of law and the important role of the Church in preventing the self-deification of human beings and institutions--including the Church itself. Hence, he held that the Church must renounce state power in order to empower its members to advance the realization of God’s kingdom on earth.


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pp. 175-194
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