Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith : Russian Orthodox Monasticism in the Soviet Union, 1917-1939

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In Keeping the Faith, Jennifer Jean Wynot presents a clear and concise history of the trials and evolution of Russian Orthodox monasteries and convents and the important roles they have played in Russian culture, both spiritually and politically, from the abortive reforms of 1905 to the Stallnist purges of the 1930s. She shows how, throughout the Soviet period, Orthodox monks and nuns continued to provide spiritual strength to the people, in spite of severe persecution, and despite the ambivalent relationship the Russian state has had toward the Russian church since the reign of Ivan the Terrible. Focusing her study on two provinces, Smolensk and Moscow, Wynot describes the Soviet oppression and the clandestine struggles of the monks and nuns to uphold the traditions of monasticism and Orthodoxy. Their success against heavy odds enabled them to provide a counterculture to the Soviet regime. Indeed, of all the pre-1917 institutions, the Orthodox Church proved the most resilient. Based on previously unavailable Russian archival sources as well as written memoirs and interviews with surviving monks and nuns, Wynot analyzes the monasteries' adaptation to the Bolshevik regime. She challenges standard Western assumptions that Communism effectively killed the Orthodox Church in Russia. She shows that in fact, the role of monks and nuns in Orthodox monasteries and convents is crucial, and that they are largely responsible for the continuation of Orthodoxy in Russia following the Bolshevik more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 163.6 x 245.9 x 27.7mm | 553.39g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 16 b/w photographs, 4 tables
  • 1585443328
  • 9781585443321

About Jennifer Jean Wynot

Jennifer Jean Wynot, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Emory University, has done archival research in Russia and has written several articles on monasticism and the Orthodox Church. She is currently teaching at Metropolitan State College of more

Review quote

"Important and fascinating . . . It tells the completely untold story of how monasticism adapted and survived under a hostile, officially atheist regime during the interwar years. It provides not only an excellent history of this phenomenon, but also a clear, succinct discussion of the Soviet regime, and of the Soviet period itself. The writing style is clear and straightforward. It is well-researched and substantiated with a myriad of primary sources."--Brenda Meehan, University of Rochestershow more

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