Orthodox Christianity in Imperial Russia

Orthodox Christianity in Imperial Russia

A Source Book on Lived Religion
Edited by Heather Coleman
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/03/2014
Format: Paperback 9 b&w illus., 2 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01317-0
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From sermons and clerical reports to personal stories of faith, this book of translated primary documents reveals the lived experience of Orthodox Christianity in 19th- and early 20th-century Russia. These documents allow us to hear the voices of educated and uneducated writers, of clergy and laity, nobles and merchants, workers and peasants, men and women, Russians and Ukrainians. Orthodoxy emerges here as a multidimensional and dynamic faith. Beyond enhancing our understanding of Orthodox Christianity as practiced in Imperial Russia, this thoughtfully edited volume offers broad insights into the relationship between religious narrative and social experience and reveals religion's central place in the formation of world views and narrative traditions.

Author Bio

Heather J. Coleman is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Imperial Russian History in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta. She is author of Russian Baptists and Spiritual Revolution, 1905-1929 (IUP, 2005) and editor (with Mark Steinberg) of Sacred Stories: Religion and Spirituality in Modern Russia (IUP, 2005).


“This important collection of primary sources introduces to students a dynamic world of faith and practice, thereby broadening their historical, cultural, and perhaps confessional horizions. And it speaks to specialists across disciplinary boundaries who study religion as lived experience.”
 — Patrick Lally Michelson, coeditor (with Judith Deutsch Kornblatt) of Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia: Culture, History, Co

“Representing the best recent scholarship, this volume provides a panoramic and highly enjoyable introduction to modern Russian Orthodoxy. Included are voices from a wide range of social stations in late imperial Russia.”
 — Paul Valliere, author of Modern Russian Theology

“Each of these sources tells its own touching story of real individuals behaving religiously. The result is a beautiful cluster of short stories, each with its own plot, character development, pathos, and crisis.”
 — wordsbecamebooks.com

“One moves quickly and with accessible ease through [these] essays by well-respected scholars toward understanding what tserkovnost (“churchness”) was to the Russian Orthodox believer in the time of the tsars. Tapping Russian language sources hitherto available only to those speaking Russian, this book brings one closer to that soil whence grew and flourished a people hardened by a history of suffering.”
 — Review of Metaphysics

“It would be difficult to overpraise this contribution to the literature on Russian history and Orthodox Christianity. . . . Abreast of the best scholarship, this volume is valuable for studies of Russian history and religion. . . . Highly recommended.”
 — Choice

“Coleman’s collection . . . emerges as strikingly important as Orthodoxy moves into the twenty-first century. It serves as a caveat to those who want to see progress in modem terms when faith is timeless. Orthodoxy, as Coleman’s collection makes plain, is a living response that transcends change and development.”
 — Canadian Slavonic Papers

“It is extremely rare for a book to be accessible and of use to undergraduates, graduate students, outsiders to the field and specialists in the field, but I believe this book pulls it off. It belongs on the shelf of anyone with any degree of interest in everyday life or religion in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Russia.”
 — Slavonic and East European Review

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Table of Contents

A Note on Spellings and Dates
Introduction: Faith and Story in Imperial Russia. Heather J. Coleman
1. The Miraculous Healing of the Mute Sergei Ivanov, 22 February 1833. Christine D. Worobec
2. The Miraculous Revival and Death of Princess Anna Fedorovna Golitsyna, 22 May 1834. Christine D. Worobec
3: Monastic Incarceration in Imperial Russia. A.J. Demoskoff
4: Letters To and From Spiritual Elders (Startsy) Irina Paert
5: Sermons of the Crimean War. Mara Kozelsky
6: The Diary of a Priest Laurie Manchester
7: "Another Voice from the Lord": An Orthodox Sermon on Christianity, Nature, and Natural Disaster Nicholas Breyfogle
8: Ukrainian Priest’s Son Remembers His Father’s Life and Ministry Heather J. Coleman
9: Akathist to the Most Holy Birth-Giver of God in Honor of Her Miracle-Working Icon Named "Kazan" Vera Shevzov
10: A Nineteenth-Century Life of St. Stefan of Perm (c. 1340-1396) Robert H. Greene
11: Written Confessions to Father John of Kronstadt, 1898-1908 Nadieszda Kizenko
12: An Obituary of Priest Ioann Mikhailovich Orlovskii Laurie Manchester
13: Not Something Ordinary, But A Great Mystery: Old Believer Ritual in the Late Imperial Period Roy R. Robson
14: Orthodox Petitions for the Transfer of the Holy Relics of St. Stefan of Perm, 1909 Robert H. Greene
15: Dechristianization in Holy Rus? Religious Observance in Vladimir Diocese, 1900-1913 Gregory L. Freeze
16: Petitions to the Holy Synod Regarding Miracle-Working Icons Vera Shevzov
17: Missionary Priests’ Reports from Siberia Aileen Friesen
18: Petitions to "Brother Ioann" Churikov, 1914 Page Herrlinger
19: Archimandrite Toviia (Tsymbal), Prior of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra: Memoirs and Diaries (Selections) Scott M. Kenworthy
20: From Ignorance to Truth: A Baptist Conversion Narrative Heather J. Coleman
Glossary and Abbreviations
Further Reading
List of Contributors

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