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

The Making of the New Martyrs of Russia

Soviet Repression in Orthodox Memory, 1st Edition

By Karin Hyldal Christensen


234 pages | 27 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415786966
pub: 2017-09-29
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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


About the Author

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.

About the Series

Routledge Religion, Society and Government in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet States

This Series seeks to publish high quality monographs and edited volumes on religion, society and government in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states by focusing primarily on three main themes: the history of churches and religions (including but not exclusively Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism) in relation to governing structures, social groupings and political power; the impact of intellectual ideas on religious structures and values; and the role of religions and faith-based communities in fostering national identities from the nineteenth century until today.

The Series aims to advance the latest research on these themes by exploring the multi-facets of religious mobilisation at local, national and supranational levels. It particularly welcomes studies which offer an interdisciplinary approach by drawing on the fields of history, politics, international relations, religious studies, theology, law, sociology, and anthropology.

Lucian Leustean is Reader in Politics and International Relations at Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies