Russian Orthodox Church

Mediatization of Pastoral Care in the Russian Orthodox Church: Reasons Behind “Ask the Priest” Websites

Drawing upon a few “ask the priest” websites, this article studies the mediatization of pastoral care in the Russian Orthodox Church. The study is based upon the theory of mediatized worlds in the framework of social constructivism. Various forms of communication between the priest and the audience are analyzed, as well as the reasons why both sides choose the online communication.

Emergence of “Church Subjectivity” in Russia on the Example of Normative Texts about Orthodox Clergy (Late 18th — Mid 19th Century)

This article describes the changes in understanding the role and identity of the Russian Orthodox priesthood during late 18th — mid-19th centuries. The analysis of normative texts defining the image of parish priests reveals the gradual differentiation of the social contexts. While at the start of the period the priest acts within a more or less homogenous society, during the first decades of the 19th century this context is gradually reconsidered within binary opposition of church vs. civil (secular).

Images of the Country, Church, the People and the Human Person in Prayers for Russia of the Revolutionary Era

This article looks at prayers for Russia and for the Russian Church which were written or compiled during the period of Russia’s revolutionary trials. These texts and rites were the fruits of the ecclesial and religious reflections of the faithful in response to the tragic events that were engulfing Russia’s life and society; they give us a chance to see the events of the era as refracted through the lens of contemporary theological, ecclesial and religious thought.

The Cosmopolitics of Charismatic Orthodoxy: Stefan (Vasilii Karpovich Podgornyi) and His Followers

At the end of Russia’s old regime, the transformation of society initiated by the Great Reforms of the 1860s had also transformed the Orthodox Church. After the Emancipation, former serfs found new opportunities as laborers, factory workers, entrepreneurs, and even priests, monks, and holy men. Vasilii Karpovich Podgornyi was one such serf who, after Emancipation, became a successful businessman. Inspired by traditional piety he used his entrepreneurial skills to create networks of religious communities, primarily composed of pious women.

Soviet Renovationism: A Church Phenomenon or an Instrument of Secret Services?

The article deals with the so‑called Renovationist schism in the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920–1940s. The nature of Renovation‑ ism is not obvious, which led to the emergence of different historiographical concepts. This phenomenon is explored here on the basis of a wide range of sources, both open (as the press of the 1920s) and previously classified documents (primarily from secret services and the highest Soviet authorities). The real nature of the interaction between the “Living Church” and the GPU in the 1920s and in subsequent years is analyzed.

Soviet Renovationism: A Church Phenomenon or an Instrument of Secret Services?

The article deals with the so‑called Renovationist schism in the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1920–1940s. The nature of Renovation‑ ism is not obvious, which led to the emergence of different historiographical concepts. This phenomenon is explored here on the basis of a wide range of sources, both open (as the press of the 1920s) and previously classified documents (primarily from secret services and the highest Soviet authorities). The real nature of the interaction between the “Living Church” and the GPU in the 1920s and in subsequent years is analyzed.

Canon Law in a Bolshevik Courtroom: The Russian Revolution as an Orthodox Legal Revolution

This paper examines how the rapid shift in the relationship between the Orthodox Church and the state in 1917 both facilitated and under‑ mined the Church’s longstanding attempt to come to terms with its canonical tradition. Legal restrictions placed upon the Church forced Orthodox leaders to consider the value of their own canonical laws and how to apply them in an inimical context.

The Most Holy Governing Synod on the Eve and During the Revolution. An Historical and Sociological Essay

The article analyzes the composition of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917. It presents the social portrait of the bishops who were members of the Synod just before and during the Revolution. The article explores the social origin, educational background, time of priestly and monastic ordination, and the length of office of all pre‑Revolutionary Synodal members. The author then makes the similar analysis of the new Synod nominated by the “revolutionary” ober‑procurator V.N. Lvov.

The Crisis of the “State Church” in the Focus of the Parish Question. 1860s–1917

In this article, the author looks at the development of the so‑called Orthodox parish issue within the last fifty years of the Russian Empire. This issue helps identifying the main elements of the crisis in which the State Church system would find itself in 1917. The problem was present since the 18th century and then exploded in heated discussions in the beginning of the 20th century.

“Churching” 1917: The Church Crisis and the Parish Revolution

In recent decades scholars have done much to correct the previous neglect of the Russian Orthodox Church, but secular historians have virtually ignored this massive volume of dissertations, books, and articles on the Church. That also applies to the role of the Church in 1917. Although that neglect is largely due to the secularist bias in the traditional historiography, it is at least partly attributable to the new scholarship on the Church — which has tended to have a narrow focus: the internal history of the Church.

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