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Eschatological Mythologeme of Sacred Shelter in the Discourses of Orthodox Subcultures. P. 128–136

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Section: Philosophy




1 0.17238/issn2227-6564.2019.3.128


Aleksandr M. Prilutskiy
The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia; nab. reki Moyki 48, korp. 20, St. Petersburg, 191186, Russian Federation;


The modern eschatology of marginal Orthodoxy is an actively developing mythological system able to borrow mythologemes and theologemes from various sources and genres. Among its main concepts is the idea that under certain conditions believers can survive the horrors of the apocalypse by hiding in special shelters. The mythologeme of sacred shelter developed largely due to the rejection of Peter the Great’s reforms by the carriers of the archaic agrarian culture that had been shaped in the Middle Ages. This led to the demonization of the tsar and his reforms as well as to the formation of the eschatological image of St. Petersburg. Today, the mythologeme of sacred shelter is often reproduced in prophetic narratives popular in various Orthodox subcultures. Knowledge about these shelters is hidden from ordinary people and is only available to certain spiritual leaders through revelation. The belief in the ability to minimize the horrors of eschatological disasters is clearly mythological in nature and is definitely opposed to the dogmatic Orthodox eschatology. This research was performed within the framework of the comprehensive semio-hermeneutic approach, supplemented with the data of discourse analysis and content analysis. The sources of the study were original narrative texts of prophetic and eschatological content, popular in Orthodox subcultures today. The results obtained confirm the assumption about the semantic and genetic relationships between the mythologeme about sacred shelters and the ancient mythologeme about the eternal return. Their interaction within the framework of folk eschatology gives rise to the ideas about the cyclic nature of the world’s existence, which clearly contradict the theological teaching of the Orthodox Church. These ideas were influenced by both naive optimism, generally characteristic of the popular worldview, and ancient mythological relics preserved in the depths of folk religiosity.


eschatology, folk religiosity, sacred shelter, end of the world, prophecy
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