Northern Russian Monastic Culture

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Ohio State University. Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures
Ohio State University. Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies

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The breakup of the Soviet Union awoke a renewed fascination in Russian Orthodoxy that reanimated interest in monasticism and its cultural impact on Russian history. Yet the modern period had produced little rigorous research into early Russian Orthodox monasticism as a spiritual way of life. Among other things, the organic quality of Orthodox monastic life requires a discussion of monasteries’ regional contexts and the role of the leader/teacher. Regional context and spiritual leadership reveal differences among similar types of communities (such as differences among various cenobia, or among various sketes) in social make-up, economic function, and even pious forms. Another important direction to pursue is to move away from a focus on one type of text toward the integration of the variety of sources contained in monastic libraries and archives.




Spock, Jennifer B. "Northern Russian Monastic Culture." Tapestry of Russian Christianity: Studies in History and Culture. Nickolas Lupinin, Donald Ostrowski and Jennifer B. Spock, eds. Columbus, Ohio: Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures and the Resource Center for Medieval Slavic Studies, The Ohio State University, 2016, 229-259.