Religion and Culture in Early Russia and Ukraine

Article excerpt

Religion and Culture in Early Modern Russia and Ukraine. Edited by Samuel H. Baron and Nancy Shields Kollmann. (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. 1997. Pp. viii, 213. $35.00.)

This collection of essays, drawn from a conference held at Stanford University in 1993, purports to address the failure of modern historians to grasp the significance of the Russian Church in modern times. With enviable financial and institutional support, Stanford convened a number of researchers from the United States, Canada, Russia, and Ukraine,"with the goal of developing the field of early East Slavic studies." Charged with this daunting mission and eager to break down the barriers created by established historical paradigms or by disciplinary or generational boundaries," the editors of this volume present ten essays on various aspects of early modern Russia and Ukraine, selected from a larger pool of papers presented at the meeting.

Michael Flier augments his earlier thoughts on the Palm Sunday ritual of Patriarch Nikon's day. Eve Levin studies supplicatory prayers as popular religious culture. Robert Crummey reflects on schismatic hagiography and its treatment of the martyrdom of Old Believers. Isolde Thyret examines miracle stories as "gender-specific religious experience." Viktor Zhivov raises highly original notions of how personal individuality was encouraged by religious and cultural reform in the aftermath of the Time of Troubles. Engelina Smirnova studies the iconography of Simon Ushakov within medieval traditions. David Frick warns against simplistic identification of individual cultural identity in the disorderly borderlands and clashing cultures of Eastern Europe. The methodology and innovative approaches of these pieces are diverse enough to interest most scholars of religion for one reason or another. …


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