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Dr Ruth Coates

Dr Ruth Coates

Dr Ruth Coates
B.A.(Bristol), D.Phil(Oxon.)

Senior Lecturer

Office 1.51, 17 Woodland Road
17 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8190


Ruth Coates specialises in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Russian intellectual history. Her research interests are in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russian religious thought, in Russian Orthodox theology and culture and its influence on secular Russian thought, and in the work of the twentieth-century philosopher and literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin. 

She has co-edited a book entitled The Emancipation of Russian Christianity (Edwin Mellen, 1995), is the author of Christianity in Bakhtin: God and the Exiled Author (CUP, 1998), and most recently has co-edited, with Robin Aizlewood, Landmarks Revisited: The Vekhi Symposium 100 Years On (Academic Studies Press, 2013). Her second monograph, Deification in Russian Religious Thought: Between the Revolutions, 1905-1917, is currently in press with OUP.

Ruth Coates has acted as primary supervisor of theses on deification in the work of Vladimir Solov'ev, the early reception of St Seraphim of Sarov, female characters in early Dostoevsky, and the reception of Dostoevsky in the 1890s.

She welcomes enquiries about potential supervision of postgraduate research projects in the following fields:

  • Russian religious thought
  • Russian philosophy and the history of ideas
  • Russian Orthodox culture and its reception in literature and thought
  • Dostoevsky
  • Bakhtin


(BA 1986, DPhil 1994) graduated in Modern Languages (German and Russian) from the University of Bristol in 1986, and obtained a DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1994. She held a Laming Junior Fellowship at Queen’s College, Oxford (1992-94), during which time she was resident in Russia. She then held temporary lectureships at the University of Manchester (1995-97) and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London (1997-99). She joined the Russian department at Bristol in 1999 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007.


Ruth Coates teaches two undergraduate units on Russian intellectual history: 'The Struggle for Russia: 19th-century Debates on Self and Society' and 'Anticipating the End: Russian Thought in the Shadow of Revolution, 1890-1917'; the unit 'Russian Orthodox Culture'; and the unit 'Dostoevsky'. She also co-teaches the first-year foundational courses 'Understanding Russia: Critical Approaches' and 'Introduction to Russian Literature'.

She contributes to the Russian-language teaching programme at all levels.

At postgraduate level, she co-teaches 'The Rise of the Novel in 19th-Century Europe' (MA Comparative Literatures and Cultures).

She has recently supervised PhD theses on the doctrine of deification in the work of Vladimir Solov'ev and the representation of female characters in early Dostoevsky, and an MPhil thesis on the reception of Dostoevsky in Russian journals of the 1890s. She is currently supervising a project on the reception of St Seraphim of Sarov.



  • 19th-century Russian literature and thought
  • the thought and culture of late imperial Russia
  • Russian Orthodox culture
  • Orthodox theology
  • Dostoevsky
  • Bakhtin

Selected publications

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View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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