The Making of the New Martyrs of Russia : Soviet Repression in Orthodox Memory book cover
1st Edition

The Making of the New Martyrs of Russia
Soviet Repression in Orthodox Memory

ISBN 9780367886141
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
246 Pages

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Book Description

Following the end of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church has canonized a great number of Russian saints. Whereas in the first millennium of Russian Christianity (988-1988) the Church recognized merely 300 Russian saints, the number had grown to more than 2,000 by 2006. This book explores the remarkable phenomenon of new Russian martyrdom. It outlines the process of canonization, examines how saints are venerated, and relates all this to the ways in which the Russian state and its people have chosen to remember the Soviet Union and commemorate the victims of its purges. The book includes in-depth case studies of particular saints and examines the diverse ways in which they are venerated.

Table of Contents


Part I: Canonization

1. Canonization as an Exercise of Power

2. The Grand Narrative of New Martyrdom

3. Separating the Sheep from the Goats

Part II: Iconization

4. The Functional Aesthetics of Liturgical Art

5. Hagiography as a Plea for Imitation and an Argument for Sainthood

6. Depicting Sainthood

7. Saints in Texts and Images

Part III: Veneration

8. Butovo, the Making of a Site of Memory

9. Venerating and Missionizing the New Martyrs

10. Saints, Victims and Perpetrators



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Karin Hyldal Christensen holds a PhD in Russian Studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has lived in Russia for many years and currently writes and lectures on Russian Orthodoxy and history.