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Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia
Culture, History, Context
Edited by Patrick Lally Michelson and Judith Deutsch Kornblatt

Surprising insights into how Orthodox religious thought shaped modern Russia

Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia illuminates the significant role of Russian Orthodox thought in shaping the discourse of educated society during the imperial and early Soviet periods. Bringing together an array of scholars, this book demonstrates that Orthodox reflections on spiritual, philosophical, and aesthetic issues of the day informed much of Russia’s intellectual and cultural climate.

Volume editors Patrick Lally Michelson and Judith Deutsch Kornblatt provide a historical overview of Russian Orthodox thought and a critical essay on the current state of scholarship about religious thought in modern Russia. The contributors explore a wide range of topics, including Orthodox claims to a unique religious Enlightenment, contests over authority within the Russian Church, tensions between faith and reason in academic Orthodoxy, the relationship between sacraments and the self, the religious foundations of philosophical and legal categories, and the effect of Orthodox categories in the formation of Russian literature.

Patrick Lally Michelson is an assistant professor of religious studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. Judith Deutsch Kornblatt is professor emerita of Slavic languages and literature at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.






“A testament to the high level of diversity, vibrancy, and innovation currently present in the study of Russian religious thought and Russian Orthodoxy.”
American Historical Review

“Offer[s] a panoramic view of how Russian Orthodox thought informed religious practice, shaped church politics, and permeated virtually every aspect of Russian cultural production.”
Russian Review

“A serious contribution to the analysis of Russian religious history [that] will, hopefully, stimulate further reconsiderations of the role of lay and ecclesiastical religious thought in Russia.’s intellectual and cultural development.”
Slavic Review

“Perhaps no Russian social class has been more colorfully and crudely pigeonholed than the ‘ecclesiastics’—from the nihilistic seminary student through the village priest, exotic sectarian, and high-ranking but obscurantist religious bureaucrat. This path-breaking volume corrects the picture with fascinating unexpected histories: of a Russian Orthodox Enlightenment, of miracle-verification in a Marxist era, of academic churchmen developing theism out of Kant and legal philosophers insisting on a religious base for human dignity, of Pushkin (and Pasternak) read through a sacred lens and Vladimir Solov’ev through a liberal one. A treasure-house of solid research and intellectual rigor, in which we see the believing Russian mind working together with the Russian heart.”
—Caryl Emerson, Princeton University

“Whereas scholarship has focused on Church history, the clergy, and popular Orthodoxy, it has largely neglected Russian religious thought. This volume examines leading figures, from Platon (Levshin) to Pavel Florenskii, as well as critical issues, such as Imiaslavie and miracles; its impressive erudition, original research, and critical rethinking of key texts and figures make this a major contribution to our understanding Russian Orthodoxy.”
—Gregory Freeze, Brandeis University


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Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia

August 2014
LC: 2013027991 BR
316 pp.   6 x 9

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Paper $29.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-29894-4
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