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.

“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.

Microhistory of the Failed Apocalypse: The Village of Podavikha and Its Inhabitants in August–December 1932

This article provides a phenomenological interpretation of the eschatological experience of the participants in the movement that captured the Kungur and Ordinsky districts of what is now Perm Territory in the second half of 1932. Its center was the small village of Podavikha. During the movement’s liquidation by the the OGPU, the leadership and parish clergy of Kungur eparchy were unsure of their position in relation to what had happened. Someone put the name “Ivanovskaya secta” into circulation, after the movement’s spiritual leader, Protopriest Ivan Kotelnikov.

The Russian Tsar in Non-Christian Religions of the Russian Empire

This article describes the sacralization of a Russian monarch’s person in the non‑Christian religious systems of the Russian Empire (Islam, Buddhism, traditional beliefs). It shows that in Christianizing subjects’ mythological worldview a tsar could play the role of a demiurge, replacing the pagan creator, and moreover, Russian Buddhists actually included the supreme rulers of the Empire in the pantheon of their faith.

“To understand the Church means to understand people…”

With Icons and Psalms, or a Bishop in Flight from his Flock. Mass Pilgrimages in Russia in the Times of Stalin and Khrushchev

Pilgrimages to monasteries or other holy places were a traditional religious practice among Orthodox believers up to 1917. Despite the Soviet government’s proclamation of state atheism, it was only with the mass terror in the 1930s that these practices disappeared. Yet in the context of World War II and Stalin’s following policy change towards religions, believers felt encouraged to practice the pilgrimage again. This article examines a pilgrimage to the famous monastery called “Rooted solitude” (Korennaia pustyn’) by the city of Kursk (Central Russia).