Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

Historically, Russian Orthodox monasteries and convents have had important functions in Russian culture, in both the spiritual and the political realm. As centers of spiritual wisdom, they attracted pilgrims from all walks of life. One of the most famous monasteries in Central Russia, Optina Pustyn, became the site of a religious revival in the nineteenth century. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

Many people helped to make this project a reality. First and foremost I would like to thank the staff at Texas A&M University Press for their assistance in making this project a reality. I would also like to thank my former advisors at Emory University, Drs. Kermit McKenzie and Matthew Payne. Dr. McKenzie’s attention to detail and high expectations ...

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Chapter 1. The Church on the Eve of the 1917 Revolution

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pp. 3-35

Although Orthodoxy is the second largest Christian denomination, Westerners know very little about its history and practices. It is often regarded as simply another form of Catholicism. Although the two do have some common theology and a shared history until the Great Schism in1054, since then they have evolved into two distinct churches. Like the ...

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Chapter 2. Revolution, Civil War, and Famine, 1917–1922

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pp. 36-79

In his Essay “The Role of Dual Models in the Dynamics of Russian Culture,” Yuri Lotman observes that “for Russia at its various historical epochs it is not conservatism that is typical, but on the contrary both reactionary and progressive tendencies.”1 The dual model that Lotman discusses is the “old vs. the new.” For a new idea or way of life to take root ...

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Chapter 3. The New Economic Policy Years, 1921–1928

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pp. 80-113

During the civil war, while the Bolsheviks were fighting for their survival, they implemented “war communism,” a collection of social, economic, and political regulations that to many Russians appeared draconian. Such tactics included tight restrictions on private trade and production and the confiscation of food from peasants to feed the army. ...

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Chapter 4. The Good Friday of Russian Monasticism, 1928–1934

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pp. 114-139

By 1928 the Soviet Union had reached another turning point. The previous decade had witnessed two revolutions, a change from a monarchy to an experimental form of governance based upon communist ideals, but strongly influenced by the experience of civil war and famine. The New Economic Policy (NEP) had been designed to rebuild the country and to ...

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Chapter 5. The Descent into Hell, 1934–1939

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pp. 140-169

With the end of the famine in 1933, another apparent thaw in the relationship between state and society occurred. Some contemporary observers such as Nicholas Timasheff refer to this period as “the Great Retreat,” or the “Second NEP.” According to this interpretation, Stalin realized that the population was not ready for drastic changes and there- ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 170-178

During the interwar period, Russian Orthodox monasticism strove to survive the onslaught of the atheistic Bolshevik regime. Despite persecution, monks and nuns succeeded in their efforts to preserve the essence of monasticism. Proof of their achievements lies in recent evidence indicating a revival of interest in monasticism, particularly among young people....

Appendix A: Decree on Land Nationalization, November 8, 1917

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pp. 179-180

Appendix B: Decree of the Soviet Commissars Concerning the Separation of Church and State and of Schools and Church, January 23, 1918

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pp. 181-182

Appendix C: Sample of Agreement between Believers and Soviet of Workmen-Peasant Deputies

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pp. 183-186

Notes

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pp. 187-212

Glossary

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pp. 213-214

Bibliography

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pp. 215-222

Index

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pp. 223-235