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Produced to honor Gregory L. Freeze on the occasion of his 70th birthday, this book is the work of students and close associates who have been his collaborators or mentees in research and teaching. The essays published here – one in German, three in Russian, and eight in English – cover concrete questions of church history and broader historical problems that cannot be understood without reference to the Church. All illustrate the technical rigor and document-driven knowledge that characterize Professor Freeze’s research and teaching. Topics of study include the problem of Russian “backwardness” in relation to “multiple modernities,” the relationship of church intellectuals to philosophical and theological developments in modern Europe, Church responses to cultural and institutional change, ongoing obstacles to reform of the Church, the socioeconomic condition of the clergy, the institutional authority of female religious, the spiritual lives of humble women, and the religious diversity of the empire represented by Jewish converts, the “Jewish Question” in Russian politics, and Old Believer and Ukrainian identities. The volume also contains a critical analysis of Freeze’s scholarly oeuvre and a bibliography of his major works.
Addressing broad patterns of Russian historical development from the 18th to the 20th century, the authors highlight how the Orthodox Church adapted to the socioeconomic, cultural, and political pluralism that gave birth to the modern world.