The Antichrist and His Plot Against Russia: Conspiracy Theories and Eschatology

Sun10  Apr09:02am(10 mins)
Umney Lounge


Magda Dolińska-Rydzek


In post-Soviet Russia, there is a relatively widespread conviction that events such as the Bolshevik Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union were not the results of historical contingency, but of a complex vicious plot exercised by some evil forces aiming at destroying Russia. Depending on political needs, the enemy plotting against Russia has the face of a Jew, Muslim, Freemason, oligarch, or liberal, operating both from outside and inside of the country. Interestingly, many conservatives and religious fundamentalists seem to believe that the plot against Russia is not orchestrated by human agents, but by the embodiment of all evil and the herald of the end of the world – the Antichrist.

In my talk, I will address these beliefs and discuss the proximity between conspiracy theories and eschatological discourses. Leaning on the concept of “conspirituality” put forth by Charlotte Ward and David Voas, I will attempt to explain what is the role of apocalyptic and conspiratorial narratives aimed at “unveiling” the reality that is hidden behind what ordinary people can see. Also, I will demonstrate their meaning in the broad context of the public discourse in contemporary Russia.

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