Cultural Hegemony, Sobornost, and the 1917 Russian Revolution

  • Tamara Prosic
Keywords: Antonio Gramsci, communism, cultural hegemony, Russian revolution, sobornost


This essay is an attempt to develop a more consistent understanding of the success of the Russian Revolution by involving the culturally particular setting in which the revolution happened: namely, the cultural dominance of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the religion professed by the majority of Russians in 1917. In critiquing Antonio Gramsci’s interpretation of the success of the revolution, the paper examines the multiple meanings of the Eastern Orthodox Christian idea of sobornost (conciliarity) and the type of collectivism it promotes. It goes on to argue that this experience and familiarity with religious sobornii/conciliar collectivism resulted in the formation of a functionally analogous secular political phenomenon during the revolution, namely the workers’ councils (soviets), the sine qua non of Russian Revolutionary success.

Author Biography

Tamara Prosic

Senior Lecturer
Monash University, Centre for Religious Studies
Wellington Rd, Clayton, Australia VIC 3800


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How to Cite
Prosic, T. (2015). Cultural Hegemony, Sobornost, and the 1917 Russian Revolution. Stasis, 3(2). Retrieved from