(Russian: "spiritual/mental strivers")

Russian religious sect, which arose in in the latter half of the 18th century and spread throughout southern Russia. From inception, the dukhobortsy were persecuted by the state, and in 1841, they were forcibly relocated to Transcaucasia. In 1898, approximately 10,000 dukhobortsy were allowed to emigrate to Canada. Today, the sect is represented mostly in Canada (where they are called Doukhobors) and Russia.

The dukhobortsy see pure reason as the highest moral imperative1. Revelations and dogma are rejected, or reinterpreted as allegory. In the dukhobortsy view, God manifests Himself spiritually in the soul of the individual (Jesus Christ being considered the perfect manifestation of God in this manner). Deliverance, in the dukhobortsy faith, is achieved through successive instances of reincarnation.

The dukhobortsy, as a matter of faith, will not swear oaths, nor will they perform military service2.

1 A theologian friend of mine, (who is also a Trekker) calls them "Christian Vulcans", only half in jest. 2 Compare with Quakers.

Du*kho*bors" (?), Du*kho*bor"tsy (?) , n. pl. [Russ. dukhobortsy spirit wrestlers; dukh spirit + bortsy wrestlers.]

A Russian religious sect founded about the middle of the 18th century at Kharkov. They believe that Christ was wholly human, but that his soul reappears from time to time in mortals. They accept the Ten Commandments and the "useful" portions of the Bible, but deny the need of rulers, priests, or churches, and have no confessions, icons, or marriage ceremonies. They are communistic, opposed to any violence, and unwilling to use the labor of animals. Driven out of Russia proper, many have emigrated to Cyprus and Canada. See Raskolnik, below.


© Webster 1913

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