Description - Old Believers, Religious Dissent and Gender in Russia, 1760-1850 by Irina Paert
The Old Believers were conservative religious dissenters who challenged the Russian Orthodox Church and defied the Imperial state. This study examines the relationship between Old Believers, religion, popular dissent and gender. It delves into the inner life of their priestless Old Believer communities in Moscow and St Petersburg between the reigns of Catherine the Great and Nicholas I, and examines religious views, economic activities and their social organization. The narrative of Old Believer history is presented against the changing political climate in Russia from that of the Enlightened toleration to bureaucratic repression. Based on historical sources, including rare Old Believer manuscripts as well as archival evidence, the book studies the relationship between religious beliefs and society. It focuses on the ways in which ascetic ideals have shaped men's and women's social selves and also on the ways these ideals eventually lost their weight in urban Old Believer communities. The book argues that Old Believer cultural conservatism often concealed their challenge of social conventions.
Like many other dissenting groups across the world, Old Believers created alternative spiritual and social roles for men and women. The book should be useful to students and those who have interest in Russian history, gender and religious studies.
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(216mm x 138mm x 25mm)
Manchester University Press
Publisher: Manchester University Press
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Book Reviews - Old Believers, Religious Dissent and Gender in Russia, 1760-1850 by Irina Paert