Resurrected Cathedrals

By Jenkins, Philip | The Christian Century, April 19, 2011 | Go to article overview

Resurrected Cathedrals


Jenkins, Philip, The Christian Century


Imagine a terrifying alternative history of modern Europe: suppose that the Nazis had not only controlled the whole continent but also unleashed a dreadful persecution of the Christian churches. They demolished or desecrated the best-loved monuments of the Christian heritage--St. Peter's in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, the cathedrals of Canterbury and York. Then, decades later, with the tyranny somehow overthrown, the restored churches begin to restore their lost buildings. The 21st century becomes a new great age of cathedral building, as St. Peter's and the others rise from the rubble. Critics wonder whether the epic restoration scheme rests on any true spiritual foundations, while others argue that resources could be much better employed. But for all the negative sentiment, contemporaries marvel at the soaring affirmations of a reborn faith.

Although that story may seem farfetched, it is a reasonable facsimile of what has occurred in Russia and other nations of the former Soviet Union, which between 1917 and 1941 carried out one of the most savage persecutions in the entire history of Christianity. The Bolsheviks murdered and tortured tens of thousands of clergy, while millions of ordinary believers were slaughtered or starved to death.

The war against God entered a new phase in the 1930s. Determined to prove that religion had wholly lost its grip on the human mind, the Bolsheviks sought to eliminate the most telling visual symbols of the faith, above all the great cathedrals. Dynamite toppled Moscow's huge Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 1931, in an act proudly recorded in propaganda films. The site later became an open-air swimming pool. In 1936, Stalin ordered Red Square cleared of churches, which meant doom for the beloved cathedral church of the Virgin of Kazan. As the assault continued around the country, it claimed such cultural treasures as Odessa's Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Krasnodar. Some houses of worship survived but found humble new roles as warehouses. Although the pressure on the Orthodox Church lightened somewhat after World War If, that was chiefly because the communists no longer saw religion as any kind of serious rival.

The secular utopia staggered on until 1991, when, seemingly miraculously, communism itself collapsed. And at that point, the Orthodox churches began their resurrection. Through this era, the Russian church was led by Patriarch Alexei II (19902008), a controversial but extraordinarily significant figure in modern Christian history, one who deserves to be far better known worldwide than he is. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Resurrected Cathedrals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.