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Catalog Archive / Spring 2022

Russia's Social Gospel
The Orthodox Pastoral Movement in Famine, War, and Revolution

Russia's Social Gospel thoughtfully and expertly adds an important piece to the puzzle of this complex, historically contingent thing we call Russian Orthodoxy.”
—Patrick Lally Michelson, Indiana University

The late Russian Empire experienced rapid economic change, social dislocation, and multiple humanitarian crises, enduring two wars, two famines, and three revolutions. A “pastoral activism” took hold as parish clergymen led and organized the response of Russia's Orthodox Christians to these traumatic events. In Russia's Social Gospel, Daniel Scarborough considers the roles played by pastors in the closing decades of the failing tsarist empire and the explosive 1917 revolutions.

This volume draws upon extensive archival research to examine the effects of the pastoral movement on Russian society and the Orthodox Church. Scarborough argues that the social work of parish clergymen shifted the focus of Orthodox practice in Russia toward cooperative social activism as a devotional activity. He furthers our understanding of Russian Orthodoxy by illuminating the difficult position of parish priests, who were charged with both spiritual and secular responsibilities but were supported by neither church nor state. His nuanced look at the pastorate shows how social and historical traumas shifted perceptions of what being religious meant, in turn affecting how the Orthodox Church organized itself, and contributed to Russia's modernization.


Daniel Scarborough. Daniel Scarborough is an assistant professor of Russian history and religion at Nazarbayev University. His interests include the religious and intellectual history of late imperial Russia, the local history of Moscow and Tver', and Russia's Silver Age.




“A combination of solid archival research and compelling historical interpretations.”
—Irina Paert, University of Tartu

“The author’s scholarship is detailed and his prose lucid. . . . This is an exceptional chronicle.”
Publishers Weekly



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Table of Contents



1 The New Kind of Pastor
2 War, Revolution, and Famine
3 Revolt in the Seminaries
4 The Church as a School
5 The Parish Crisis
6 The Pastor as a Political Actor
7 Revolution in the Church

Selected Bibliography


Of Related Interest

A Spiritual Revolution: Painting of Platon Levshin, the Metropolitan of Moscow, surrounded by cherubs and women and recolored red, orange, and green in a vertical fade from top to bottom.

A Spiritual Revolution
The Impact of Reformation and Enlightenment in Orthodox Russia
Andrey V. Ivanov

Beyond the Monastery Walls: cover displaying a grayscale photograph of a large, Russian church. Below the photo, there is a mostly blank space, with five identical soldiers standing upon a couple of intersecting lines. There are hints of red in the subtitle, a rectangle on the left side, and a triangle near the bottom of the page.

Beyond the Monastery Walls
The Ascetic Revolution in Russian Orthodox Thought, 1814–1914
Patrick Lally Michelson

Russia's Social Gospel: cover displaying a grayscale photograph of a group of Russian priests sitting in three rows. The title text is proclaimed in yellow all caps text in the center of the page.

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June 2022
LC: 2021040742
320 pp. 6 x 9
3 tables

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Casebound $79.95 S
ISBN 9780299337209
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