Religion and Society in Russia

Religion and Society in Russia : The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

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Description

This book traces the evolution of religious attitudes in an important transitional period in Russian history. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Russia saw the gradual decline of monastic spirituality, the rise of miracle cults, and ultimately the birth of a more personal and private faith that stressed morality instead of public rituals. Bushkovitch not only skillfully reconstructs these rapid and fundamental changes in the Russian religious experience, but also shows how they were influenced by European religious ideas and how they foreshadowed the secularization of Russian society usually credited to Peter the Great.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 286 pages
  • 228.6 x 228.6 x 152.4mm | 666.85g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195069463
  • 9780195069464

Review quote

a highly scholarly and richly detailed volume, building on previous studies of his selected area and on published histories and manuscript records of churches and chapels, among many other sources ... The book is an intensely detailed one miscroscopically examining the religious nature of a small area. The work is valuable not only as a model study of local religious history, covering many facets, but as an example of developments which had national as well as local relevance. * Ian Machin, University of Dundee, The Historical Association 1996 * an erudite and fairly readable account of religious life in Muscovy, with some thought-provoking comments on other aspects of cultural history. His sources are extensive and include unpublished manuscript material * The Heythrop Journal *show more

Back cover copy

In this book, Bushkovitch traces the evolution of religious attitudes in an important transitional period in Russian history, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Concentrating on the attitudes of the court and elite of Russian society, he explores the effects of the gradual decline of Monastic spirituality, the rise of miracle cults, and the redefinition of Orthodoxy in the seventeenth century. Around 1650, preaching and a moral reformation of the individual believer began to displace the predominant miracle cults and rituals. Centered at first in the court of Tsar Aleksei, these changes began to spread into society at large by the end of the seventeenth century. This redefinition of Orthodoxy created a religion that stressed virtue more than revelation, and thus prepared the ground for the secularization of Russian culture in Peter the Great's time. Using unpublished manuscript material as well as early printed books, Bushkovitch demonstrates that this period was far from the stable (or stagnant) era of Slavophile myth, but a time of continuous and often rapid change. Discussing areas never before researched (such as miracle cults), he not only skillfully reconstructs these rapid and fundamental changes in the Russian religious experience, but also shows how they were influenced by European religious ideas and how they foreshadowed the secularization of Russian society.show more

About Paul Bushkovitch

Author of The Merchants of Moscow 1580-1650 (Cambridge UP, 1980)show more

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