The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5

By Hughes Oliphant Old | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
The Russian Orthodox Church

There is something unique to the preaching of the Russian church.1 In the last several centuries, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth, the Russian church has produced a remarkable group of preaching saints. But to understand this holy breed of orthodox charismatics, we must begin with the story of the evangelization of Russia. So very different from the evangelization of western Europe and yet at many points so very similar, the evangelization of Russia is the story of the Slavic peoples opening up the road from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, down the great rivers of the north, the Don, the Dnieper, and the Volga. It is the story of monks spending years of contemplation not in the deserts of Egypt but in the snow-filled forests east of Novgorod or upriver from Moscow.

The evangelization of Russia is not only the story of the Slavs, it is the story of the Vikings as well. They built the ships that took them down the rivers and, once onto the Black Sea, to Byzantium. We spoke of when the “Rus” first appeared on the horizon of classical civilization — in the ninth century, when the great Photius was patriarch of Constantinople.

1. On the history of the Russian church and in particular its preaching, see George P. Fedotov, The Russian Religious Mind (I): Kievan Christianity, the Tenth to Thirteenth Centuries, in The Collected Works of George P. Fedotov, vol. 3 (Belmont, Mass.: Nordland, 1975); John Fennell, A History of the Russian Church to 1448 (London and New York: Longmans, 1995); N. Kataiev, Geschichte der Predigt in der russischen Kirche, translated from Russian into German by Alexis Markow (Stuttgart: Verlag von W. Kohlhammer, 1889); and Dimitry Pospielovsky, The Orthodox Church in the History of Russia (Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1998).

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The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church - Vol. 5
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xiii
  • Chapter I - Moderatism 1
  • Chapter II - The Awakenings of Eighteenth-Century Pietism 69
  • Chapter III - New England 168
  • Chapter IV - Preaching in the Austro-Hungarian Empire 294
  • Chapter V - Franciscan Preaching in Spanish California 351
  • Chapter VI - Romanian Orthodoxy under the Turks 367
  • Chapter VII - The Russian Orthodox Church 389
  • Chapter VIII - Scotland 429
  • Chapter IX - Evangelical Anglicanism 541
  • Bibliography 579
  • Index 601
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