University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Spring 2023

A Spiritual Revolution
The Impact of Reformation and Enlightenment in Orthodox Russia

Winner of the 2021 Marc Raeff Book Prize

“Ivanov breaks new ground in his exploration of the link between Orthodoxy and Protestantism. Theological and political concepts are explained with clarity, and the evolution of abstract ideas is embedded in a lively portrayal of political and social history. It will become the go-to book on Russian Orthodoxy in the eighteenth century.”
—Alexander M. Martin, author of Enlightened Metropolis: Constructing Imperial Moscow, 1762–1855

The ideas of the Protestant Reformation, followed by the European Enlightenment, had a profound and long-lasting impact on Russia’s church and society in the eighteenth century. Though the Orthodox Church was often assumed to have been hostile toward outside influence, Andrey V. Ivanov’s study argues that the institution in fact embraced many Western ideas, thereby undergoing what some observers called a religious revolution.

Embedded with lively portrayals of historical actors and vivid descriptions of political details, A Spiritual Revolution is the first large-scale effort to fully identify exactly how Western thought influenced the Russian Church. These new ideas played a foundational role in the emergence of the country as a modernizing empire and the rise of the Church hierarchy as a forward-looking agency of institutional and societal change. Ivanov addresses this important debate in the scholarship on European history, firmly placing Orthodoxy within the much wider European and global continuum of religious change.


Audrey Ivanov. Photo credit, Name Andrey V. Ivanov is an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.




“Tells a compelling and historiographically important story by way of intellectual and institutional archaeology. Ivanov brings historical nuance to a neglected and generally misunderstood piece of history.”
—Patrick Lally Michelson, author of Beyond the Monastery Walls: The Ascetic Revolution in Russian Orthodox Thought, 1814–1914

“[A] trailblazing book. Ivanov produces an artful narrative that seamlessly fuses thought-provoking analysis, in-depth research, and entertaining anecdotes about the personages involved. For specialists, reading it is a must. Historians of the Russian Orthodox Church will find their perspective fully changed; historians of Russia will gain a greater understanding of the interlocking relationship between religion and politics; and historians of European religion and philosophy will find it difficult to continue leaving the Russian Empire off their maps of Reformation and Enlightenment.”
—European History Quarterly

“Well-researched and provocative. . . . Engaging and thought provoking.”
Canadian-American Slavic Studies

“One of the finest interpretations of the early modern Russian episcopate—a must read for students of the Russian church and Russian religious history.”
Slavic Review

“A major contribution to the intellectual and political history of the Russian Orthodox Church during the long eighteenth century. . . . Ivanov’s work is an important milestone in the historical study of Orthodox Russia’s place on the continuum of religious change during the early modern period.”
The Russian Review

“An indispensable work for future historians of the era.”

“A seminal and detailed study that is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. . . . A ground-breaking study.”
Midwest Book Review

“An important contribution. . . . Offers a compelling, well-crafted story.”
Catholic Historical Review



Download Cover: color | b/w

Download Author Photo: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Desk/Exam Copy


A Spiritual Revolution: Painting of Platon Levshin, the Metropolitan of Moscow, surrounded by cherubs and women and recolored red, orange, and green in a vertical fade from top to bottom.

Larger images

New in Paperback!
May 2023
LC: 2020004181 BR
368 pp. 6 x 9
10 b/w illus.

Book icon
Paper $32.95 S
ISBN 9780299327941
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart
Book icon
Cloth $79.95 S
ISBN 9780299327903
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
Review Cart