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This article sets out to demonstrate how some Russian Orthodox imaginaries bear a family resemblance to populism. These imaginaries have a distinctive ideological anchor. The influential religious figures who convey them lay claim to a legacy of political thought that can be traced back to a specific form of narodnichestvo, which is Slavophile and associated with aspirations for monarchy. This investigation of populism among Russian Orthodox Christians is structured in three parts. The article begins with a presentation of an ideological repertoire that emphasizes the centrality of the idea of “the people.” Drawing on interviews and material collected over several years in different regions of Russia, particularly Yekaterinburg, the article then looks at the rebellion of Christians who feel marginalized or consider that the Russian Orthodox Church does not have enough influence in Russia. Finally, it explores how “the people” has become central to religious practice itself.

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In: Journal of Religion in Europe