Russian empire

The Concept of “New Muslim” between the Two Revolutions on the Pages of “Shura” Journal (1908–1917)

The periodical press of the Tatar Muslims of the Volga‑Urals region of the Russian Empire, which was published between the two Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, was a public platform that allowed geographically dispersed communities of Muslims in Russia to lead open discussions of various urgent social issues. The “Shura” journal became one such platform that responded to challenges coming from large‑ scale social changes in Russia and in other key regions of the Islamic world (Al‑Nahda in Egypt, the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire).

The Sangha in the Age of Degradation. Responses of the Russian Buddhists to the Russian Revolution and Civil War

The Buriat Buddhists who constituted the majority of the Buddhist population of the former Russian Empire did not stay away from the revolutionary events. The secular segment of the Buriat society viewed the collapse of the monarchy as the unfolding opportunity to get rid of the colonial legacy, including discrimination of their religion. However, already in 1918 the deviation of the positions of clerical and secular segments of the Buriat society became obvious.

The Crisis of the “State Church” in the Focus of the Parish Question. 1860s–1917

In this article, the author looks at the development of the so‑called Orthodox parish issue within the last fifty years of the Russian Empire. This issue helps identifying the main elements of the crisis in which the State Church system would find itself in 1917. The problem was present since the 18th century and then exploded in heated discussions in the beginning of the 20th century.

Discourse about the Russian Muslims in the Materials of the Special Meetings of 1905–1914

This article provides a short overview of the so called five “Special meetings” organized by various imperial ministries on the issues of faith tolerance and above all on the situation of Muslims in Russia, from 1905 to 1914. For each of these meetings, the authors give the names of the major protagonists within the imperial elite: officials, Church leaders, Orientalists/ethnographers, and then a short sketch of topics discussed.

Armenian Protestantism and the Religious Crisis in Shamakhi (1840s–1860s): Toward the Question of Russian Imperial Confessionalism

This article is dedicated to the initial period of the history of Armenian Protestantism in the Russian Empire. It characterizes the basic principles of Russian confessional policy concerning Armenians, such as the state’s support of the Armenian Apostolic Church and its opposition to Catholic and Protestant propaganda among Armenians. This article discusses the background of the Armenian Protestant movement and reveals that it was due to the activity of American missionaries in the Ottoman Empire and of the Basel Missionary Society in Russian Transcaucasia.

The Study of Religion in Russia at the End of the 19th and the First Quarter of the 20th century: From Phenomenological Description to Critical Study

This article is devoted to the main trends in the development of the science of religion in Russia at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Unlike in other European countries, Russian universities lacked theological departments, and the study of religion was concentrated exclusively within the Church schools. This was one reason for the late development of the science of religion in Russia.

Religion and Identity in Buryatia: Competition between Orthodoxy and Buddhism in Late Imperial Russia (On Materials from St. Petersburg Archives)

This paper discusses the political importance of religious identity in the context of competition between Orthodoxy and Buddhism in the Buryat spiritual space in the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. Christianization of Buryats as well as other non‑Russians in the remote regions of Russia seemed a necessary tool for strengthening the borders of the empire, which were under threat from Qing China.