Redkinа O.Yu., Nazarova T.P. Formation of Culture of Pacificism in the Russian Society: Transformation of Ideas of Mennonites

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2019.3.18

Olga Yu. Redkinа
Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Department of International Relations, Political Science and Regional Studies, Volgograd State University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8978-9575

Tatjana P. Nazarova
Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, History and Law, Volgograd State Agrarian University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 26, 400002 Volgograd, Russian Federation
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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1701-9237


Abstract. The article considers the gradual transformation of certain aspects of the pacifist doctrine of the Mennonites under the influence of new farming conditions in the sparsely populated and inaccessible regions of the Russian Empire. Understanding of our duties to the state, which sheltered the persecuted community at the end of the 18th century, guaranteed freedom of conscience (including the preservation of pacifism, among other things), this gave rise to a new attitude towards the Russian army, a desire to contribute to protecting the interests of the Fatherland in an acceptable form. The influence of Orthodox views on just wars, on the essence of serving the Fatherland on the patriotic views of the Mennonites of the Black Sea region seems probable. Remaining lawabiding citizens, during all wars the Mennonites found opportunities to provide comprehensive support to the Russian army without violating their religious beliefs – money donations, maintaining field hospitals, caring for wounded soldiers, providing transportation, food, and fodder. Reluctance to leave Russia in the 1870s after the introduction of universal military service, it stimulated the Mennonites to seek a compromise with the Russian state, and led to the emergence of an alternative service for them in the forest teams. The widespread possession of cold steel and firearms, which was seized from them in 1914–1915, speaks about the transformation of certain aspects of the pacifist beliefs of the Mennonites living in Novorossia. The extreme conditions of the First World War and the Civil War gave an impetus to a more active revision of the pacifist beliefs by the Mennonites, to an individual decision on the form of service in the army or abandonment of it. The possession of weapons, the presence of significant arsenals in the communities will lead to the creation of self-defense units during the Сivil war in Ukraine and the Crimea, to the combat participation of individual Mennonites on the side of the White and Red Armies. The majority of Mennonites will use the right not to serve in the army for religious reasons, enshrined in a decree of the SNK of the RSFSR in 1919.
Key words: culture of peace, pacifism, alternative service, Mennonites, Russian state.

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Formation of Culture of Pacificism in the Russian Society: Transformation of Ideas of Mennonites by Redkinа O.Yu., Nazarova T.P. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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