Making of Holy Russia: The Orthodox Church and Russian Nationalism Before the Revolution
That Orthodox patriots reacted to this momentous shift by retaining an "uncompromising faith in autocracy" was no doubt "a sign of the movement 's dislocation from political reality" p. But, Strickland stresses, their faith was far from blind; on the contrary, influenccd by Orthodox eschatology, they believed their primary responsibility was to remind the tsar of his duty to promote the Russian people's unique religious purpose.
A similar motivation was evidently at work in when the Church decided to proceed with the canonization of the seventeenth-century patriot Germogen, in spite of the tsar's decision not to participate. Rather than an "anti-tsar" moment as Greg Freeze has argued, Strickland casts the festivities as an intentional yet unsuccessful exercise of Orthodox patriotism, designed to capitalize on Germogen's support of autocracy. The Revolution also challenged Orthodox patriots' efforts to resolve the tension between Church universalism and national particularism inherent to the model of Holy Rus'.
Indeed, their decision to align with ethnic nationalists organized into patriotic unions after provoked controversy even among clergy sympathetic to them not least because secular nationalists courted Old Believers. Yet, Orthodox leaders like Antony endorsed the move, insisting that Russian nationalist self-consciousness was not "racial or tribal" but "religious and ecclesial," and that nationalists were concerned not with "their own country and themselves" but with "higher purposes that are holy, divine, and universal.
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Yet the question of reception — that is, the influence of Orthodox patriotism on the broader Russian public — remains elusive in this study. Strickland notes that even sympathetic lay intelligentsia like Soloviev and Bulgakov had serious reservations about the clerical model, especially around the ideal of the apostle- like tsar, and the limited role given to laity in defining the national faith.
Beyond attempts to gauge public response to key celebratory moments, however, Strickland does little to connect the national to the "local" and hesitates to discuss how and to what extent Orthodox patriotic ideals resonated among the laity or parish clergy. Moreover, because the study concludes in , when the lackluster Gcrmogen canonization festivities suggested that Orthodox patriotism was all but dead, the question remains open as to whether or not war gave the ideology new life again if only temporarily.
Strickland assures us that it did not, but he does not elaborate. This study nonetheless has much to offer. Written in a generally accessible manner, and drawing on a rich pool of clerical and cultural texts, it provides unique insight into the Orthodox imagination in the late Imperial period, especially as it was expressed by some of the Church's most powerful and nominally conservative men. In so doing, it helps to correct the recent focus on liberal clerical voices within the historiography. While highlighting the impressive scope of Orthodox patriots' faith and ambition in the face of modernity, the analysis is balanced by careful consideration of the "fateful" narrowness and contradictions of their vision, thus helping us to better appreciate why they failed to offer a viable alternative to a secular ethnic nationalism and found themselves isolated politically by In addition to shedding new light on the relationship between secular and religious forms of nationalism at a key moment in Russia's past, the book provides valuable context for understanding nationalist forces within the Russian Orthodox Church today.
It should also serve as a useful resource for future comparative work between Eastern and Western forms of Christianity.
It is frequently asserted that "to be Russian is to be Orthodox," thus tying national and religious identities. But the opposite equation--that to be Orthodox is to be Russian--has sometimes also been made.
This view asserts that "Holy Russia" as a special chosen nation alone preserved Orthodoxy uncorrupted. They sought to tie inextricably national and religious identities so that modern concepts of nationalism did not displace religious identity as they had in Western Europe. As the identification of Orthodoxy and Russian nationalism is frequently believed both by outsiders and insiders to be a perpetual feature of Russian Orthodoxy, and is being asserted again today in Russia, this book is extremely timely and important for both those who wish to understand Russia historically and today.
Archpriest John Strickland was born and educated in California. Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Customer reviews There are no customer reviews yet. Share your thoughts with other customers.
Holy Trinity Publications - The Making of Holy Russia
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The Making of Holy Russia: The Orthodox Church and Russian Nationalism Before the Revolution
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