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e-Book A Long Walk To Church: A Contemporary History Of Russian Orthodoxy download

e-Book A Long Walk To Church: A Contemporary History Of Russian Orthodoxy download

by Nathaniel Davis

ISBN: 0813322774
ISBN13: 978-0813322773
Language: English
Publisher: Routledge (December 20, 1994)
Pages: 381
Category: World
Subategory: History

ePub size: 1992 kb
Fb2 size: 1263 kb
DJVU size: 1294 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 242
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A Long Walk To Church Davis reveals that the erosion of church strength between 1948 and 1988.

A Long Walk To Church. Making use of the formerly secret archives of the Soviet government, interviews, and first-hand personal experiences, Nathaniel Davis describes how the Russian Orthodox Church hung on the brink of institutional extinction twice in the past sixty-five years. Davis reveals that the erosion of church strength between 1948 and 1988 was greater than previously known and it was none too soon when the Soviet government changed policy in anticipation of the millennium of Russia's conversion to Christianity.

Davis takes the church from its initial battles with Bolshevism after the 1917 revolution, through the near-fatal years of Stalin . Most of the book focuses on the contemporary period.

Davis takes the church from its initial battles with Bolshevism after the 1917 revolution, through the near-fatal years of Stalin and the repressions of Khrushchev, to the at times traumatic rebirth during the collapse of Soviet power.

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Nathaniel Davis is the Alexander and Adelaide Hixon Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Harvey Mudd College. Foreign Service for thirty-six years, in Moscow, as assistant secretary of state, as ambassador in three posts, and as Lyndon B. Johnson's senior advisor on Soviet and Eastern European affairs.

Through an examination of historical archives, Nathaniel Davis examines the Russian Orthodox Church's transformation through several extreme political and social regimes. In 1939, only a few score widely scattered priests were still functioning openly.

Davis reveals that the erosion of church strength between 1948 and 1988 was greater than previously known and it was none too soon when the Soviet government changed policy in anticipation of the millennium of Russia's conversion to Christianity. More recently, the collapse of communism has created a mixture of dizzying opportunity and daunting trouble for Russian Orthodoxy.

A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy. This study is a secular examination of the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in recent times. It is difficult to be objective about religion. I am reminded of a cartoon published long ago of a matron in a bookshop asking for "an impartial history of the Civil War, written from the Southern point of view. For those who might be curious, I am a member of the United Church of Christ. For those unfamiliar with Orthodox ecclesiastical usage, a monastic priest takes a saint's name when he becomes a monk and drops his surname.

Despite its problems, the Russian Orthodox Church manifests a luminous faith. It has achieved great political influence and is the former Soviet Union's most important vehicle for spiritual and ethical renewal. Nevertheless, it is still a long walk to church in that tormented land.Making use of the formerly secret archives of the Soviet government, Nathaniel Davis offers the first complete account of the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in recent times. Twice in the past sixty years, the church hung on the brink of institutional extinction. In 1939, only four bishops and a few score widely scattered priests were still functioning openly in that vast land. In a single night, Stalin could have arrested them all. Ironically, Hitler's invasion and Stalin's reaction to it rescued the church—and parishes reopened, new clergy and bishops were consecrated, a patriarch was elected, and seminaries and convents were reinstituted.In his paranoid last five years, Stalin reverted to his earlier policies of repression; after his death, Nikita Khrushchev resumed the onslaught against religion. Davis reveals the full scope of Stalin's last assault, the limited extent of the reprieve, and the relative continuity of policy in those brutal years of repression under Khrushchev. He shows that under Brezhnev, the erosion of church strength was greater than the world has been told, and that those decades witnessed the low point in the church's second great crisis of survival. It was none too soon when the Soviet government changed policy in anticipation of millennium of Russia's conversion to Christianity in 1988. One could travel a thousand kilometers on the Trans-Siberian railway without coming to a single functioning church.The collapse of communism and the fragmentation of the Soviet empire have created a challenging mixture of opportunity and trouble for Russian Orthodoxy. Thousands of half-destroyed churches have been returned to believers, but the faithful do not have the money to restore them. Thousands of parishes are without priests. Ukraine, where most of the Orthodox churches were, has fallen into schism, with three feuding Orthodox factions struggling against each other and a resurgent Greek-Catholic community pushing all three eastward.Across the former Soviet Union, the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church bemoan a “spiritual vacuum” into which are rushing moneyed Protestant evangelists, Catholic proselytizers, Eastern mystics, and even Satanists and telesorcerers. Moreover, Orthodox Church leaders' past collaboration with the communist authorities has bedeviled the hierarchs as they struggle to assert moral leadership in a society where the communists worked for seventy-five years to lead the people astray.
Comments:
Doomredeemer
If you're interested in what's going on in the church in Russia today, Davis provides both the background and the contemporary perspective. Thoroughly annotated with 100 pages of end notes, this book combines statistical analysis of the church's fluctuating fortunes with reports from Communist and other annals and Davis' own observations from visits to hundreds of churches.

Its academic approach, while thorough, makes it less accessible to the casual reader interested in the subject, which is why I gave it only 3 stars. I'd like to see Davis return to this subject with a book aimed at the general reader. Based on my visits to 4 Moscow churches within walking distance of each other and to a couple of Old Believers churches, I think there's a story waiting to be told of the variety of approaches to Orthodox belief and practice that are active in Russia today.

Trex
This book will open your eyes to what the real issues were, when and where for the Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century. Davis is relatively sympathetic to the ROC, but he doesn't hold any punches when there IS a criticism to be made. Davis spends quite a bit of time crunching numbers, but he also takes the time for anecdotal descriptions, too. This is very readable and insightful! Side note: He seems a little naive and starry-eyed about Gorbachev's support for the Church, but that might just be my reading too much into it.

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