The Quest for Russia's Soul: Evangelicals and Moral Education in Post-Communist Russia


What were American evangelicals doing in Russian public schools? Actually, the Russian Ministry of Education had invited them. Faced with the need for new approaches to moral education after the demise of communism, the Russian Ministry of Education turned to a group of Western evangelical Christians called the CoMission for help. Oddly enough, a government that had promoted atheism, destroyed churches, and persecuted Christians for more than seventy years now found itself partnering with Christians to train their educators to teach ethics.

This book not only tells the story of this odd educational enterprise and its ultimate outcome, but it also explores the questions that such a groundbreaking project inevitably raises. What led post-communist educators to seek help with moral education from Western Christians? How did the Russian Ministry of Education and the CoMission handle the church-state relationships that this endeavor produced? How did post-Soviet teachers respond? How did the Orthodox Church react? While a few books have described the changes in Russian public schools, this book provides the first in-depth case study of moral education in Russia after communism.

This account of the CoMission -- a group of eighty-three Christian organizations formed to instruct Russian public schoolteachers how to teach Christian ethics -- provides unique insights both into post-communist Russia and Western evangelical movements. Interviews with more than one hundred people intimately involved in Russian education, politics, and evangelism make the narrative's analysis thorough, accessible, and personal. The author's comprehensive research and first-person experience result in aninformative, instructive, and compelling book. Anyone with an interest in Russia, moral education, evangelism, or church-state issues will find this to be an important study.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Waco, TX
Publication year:
  • 2002


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