Synopses & Reviews
Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent is the first book to fully explore the expansive and ill-understood role that Russia's ancient Christian faith has played in the fall of Soviet Communism and in the rise of Russian nationalism today. John and Carol Garrard tell the story of how the Orthodox Church's moral weight helped defeat the 1991 coup against Gorbachev launched by Communist Party hardliners. The Soviet Union disintegrated, leaving Russians searching for a usable past. The Garrards reveal how Patriarch Aleksy II--a former KGB officer and the man behind the church's successful defeat of the coup--is reconstituting a new national idea in the church's own image.
In the new Russia, the former KGB who run the country--Vladimir Putin among them--proclaim the cross, not the hammer and sickle. Meanwhile, a majority of Russians now embrace the Orthodox faith with unprecedented fervor. The Garrards trace how Aleksy orchestrated this transformation, positioning his church to inherit power once held by the Communist Party and to become the dominant ethos of the military and government. They show how the revived church under Aleksy prevented mass violence during the post-Soviet turmoil, and how Aleksy astutely linked the church with the army and melded Russian patriotism and faith.
Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent argues that the West must come to grips with this complex and contradictory resurgence of the Orthodox faith, because it is the hidden force behind Russia's domestic and foreign policies today.
"In this rewarding book, the Garrards humanize and deliver with great learning the epic story of the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church. They illuminate a lost experience by studying the church through the prism of its spectacular civic rebirth. The Garrards give a meticulously detailed account of the rise of Patriarch Aleksy and his successful use of the faith to implant the church and its teachings once again deep into the hearts of Russian people."--Richard Stites, Georgetown University
"This book contains much rich information, colorful detail, and valuable insights. The Garrards know the Russian background intimately. They are dedicated, scrupulous, and immensely hardworking scholars. It is worth reading this book for the footnotes alone."--Rodric Braithwaite, author of Moscow 1941
"A splendid book--scholarly, deeply researched but with the tone of a personal memoir, delivered in a riveting style, and original in its contribution to our reconstruction of Russia's transition out of Communism. The Garrards are marvelous storytellers. Their story will frighten some and reassure others--but either way, this is a book for our times."--Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
About the Author
John Garrard is professor of Russian studies at the University of Arizona. Carol Garrard is an independent scholar. Together they are the authors of The Bones of Berdichev: The Life and Fate of Vasily Grossman and Inside the Soviet Writers' Union.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations viii
Note on Transliteration xix
PROLOGUE Sergiev Posad: Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent 1
Chapter One: The End of the Atheist Empire 14
Chapter Two: A New Hope 36
Chapter Three: Rebuilding Holy Moscow 70
Chapter Four: Accursed Questions: Who Is to Blame? 101
Chapter Five: Irreconcilable Differences: Orthodoxy and the West 141
Chapter Six: The Babylonian Legacy: Exiles, Martyrs, and Collaborators 181
Chapter Seven: A Faith-Based Army 207
EPILOGUE: Twenty Years After: From Party to Patriarch 242
Appendix A: Translated Documents 255
Appendix B: Authors' Letter to the New York Times, May 27, 1990 261
Select Bibliography 309