In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

536 Рецензии/Reviews числе Холокоста, позднее ушли в партизанские отряды. Задачи, которые ставила перед собой Лоуер, скромнее, чем иссле- довательская программа Грелки, и реализованы они достаточно полно. Однако, как это всегда бывает с такого рода case studies, остается сожалеть о том, что ав- тор не пытается поместить его в сравнительный контекст. Автор показывает, что Житомирский округ занимал в планах нацистов особое место, и сюжет о Хегеваль- де служит хорошей иллюстрацией этого тезиса. Но без сравнения с другими регионами Лоуер вынуж- дена оставить без ответа вопрос о том, какова была региональная специфика в политике Endlösung. Nadieszda KIZENKO Николай Митрохин. Русская Православная Церковь: Совре- менное состояние и актуальные проблемы. Москва: Новое ли- тературное обозрение, 2004 (= Библиотека журнала “Неприкос- новенный Запас”). 647 с. Библио- графия, Именной указатель. ISBN: 5-86793-324-5. In previous studies, the wellknown sociologist Nikolai Mitrokhin examined two cornerstones of contemporary Russian Orthodox church life: its economics and its bishops. Here, he takes on a broader perspective . As the subtitle indicates, this is a study of the current state and problems of the entire Russian Orthodox Church. Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov’ lives up to its aim. At nearly seven hundred pages, with nineteen tables and charts, a bibliography, an index, a glossary, and a thorough discussion of the literature, this is the most exhaustive available analysis of the Russian Orthodox Church – that is, that ecclesiastical body also known as the Moscow Patriarchate – in the years after perestroika up to March 2004. While the bulk of the book concentrates on the church’s activity in the former Soviet Union, chapters also examine its activity worldwide. The book is organized in three broad sections. Part I covers the internal life of the church – that is, the relations among Orthodox clergy, hierarchy and the laity. Part II considers the relations of the church with the state and with secular society. Part III (this is framed particularly originally) examines the church “in competitive conditions” – that is, the relations of the Moscow Patriarchate with other religious groups and in various geographical areas, particularly when the church is not in the majority. Taken together, the three 537 Ab Imperio, 3/2006 sections paint a broad and morose portrait of a church which, according to Mitrokhin, has largely failed to meet the challenge of adjusting to post-Soviet conditions. The picture is bleak. The contemporary Russian Orthodox Church appears to be made up largely of old women and social losers. The pillars of society, middle-class families who come to church with their children, do not appear here. If the Roman Catholic church in New York City could deliver 40-60% of the Democratic vote up to the 1960s, and therefore could reasonably be regarded by the state as a “player,” the Orthodox Church in Russia now delivers between 2 and 4% at best. 53% have never been to communion. In 2003, on Easter, the holiest day of the Orthodox calendar, approximately half of one percent of the population of the city of Moscow went to church. The social aspect of the church is even worse. There is virtually no organized charitable work, or work with youth. Bishops feed off their flocks even more extravagantly than did sixteenth-century voevodas. Laity is alienated from a privileged and distant parish clergy, which in turn is alienated from an even more privileged and distant hierarchy. Candles represent the largest source of income. Rather than engaging the mass media, the church shies away from it. The usual suspects – Roman Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostalists, Jehovah’s Witnesses – do a far better job of outreach, education, and growth, even with the joint efforts of Moscow Patriarchate, the Russian state, and Muslim communities against these “interlopers.” In short, if there were any doubt, it is now gone. For all the attempts to reclaim its legacy, the Russian Orthodox Church in its pre-1917 form is irrevocably vanished, as is the monarchy to which it was linked. The pious peasantry that was its backbone no longer exists, neither as pious nor as peasantry. The scholarly publications, the network of imperial charity institutions, the countless chapels that dotted the countryside, the general level of Orthodox Christian literacy – just about all those features, in short, which characterized the Russian Orthodox tradition in on the eve of the First World War are history.To use Mitrokhin’s colorful metaphor, “restoring Orthodoxy” in Russia is not a matter of healing a sick and burnt tree, but of grafting a new branch onto a stump. Mitrokhin’s comparison of Russia to other countries and regions, particularly those in the former Soviet Union, is instructive. Consider Ukraine: if one adds up its three major jurisdictions (Moscow Patriarchate , Kievan Patriarchate, and the Autocephalous Orthodox Church), at nearly fifteen thousand parishes, Ukraine – not Russia – is currently 538 Рецензии/Reviews the largest Orthodox government in the world. No wonder holding on to this region is key.And Moscow’s...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 536-541
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.