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Religion, Morality, and Community in Post-Soviet Societies. Mark D. Steinberg and Catherine Wanner, ed. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2008.
 
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there has been a new prominence of religion throughout Eurasia in ethno-national identification, social practices, and public policies. Mark D. Steinberg’s and Catherine Wanner’s edited volume seeks to explore the…

What will be the contribution of the Russian Orthodox Church to the creation of a civil society in post-Soviet Russia?  Much depends on whether the Russian Orthodox Church is a nationalist institution.  On the one hand, if the Russian Orthodox Church is in fact a nationalist institution, then its contribution to a democratic civil society will be negative; on the…

The Russian Empire, which lasted from 1721 to 1917, spanned an enormous territory of almost 14 million square miles (36 million sq km) across the eastern portion of Europe and the continent of Asia. Ruled by an autocratic government, with its capital at St. Petersburg, its 170 million people were of over 100 different ethnic backgrounds, comprised primarily of Christians,…

The original Amber Room was in the Catherine Palace: it was a chamber with amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors.  It was created from 1701 to 1709 for the Prussian King Wilhelm I, who in turn gave it to Peter the Great (r. 1694-1725) in 1716 to form a Prussian-Russian alliance against Sweden.  The Amber Room remained there…

The Russian Empire was one of the largest empires in the world, spanning almost 14 square miles (36 million sq km) across eastern portion of Europe and the continent of Asia.
The Russian Empire’s population was 170 million people of over 100 different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The Russian Empire emerged as one of the great world powers and played a leading…

Physician, playwright, philander, short story author, and prison reform advocate, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860–1904) lived a life full of paradoxes. He had a religious education but became an atheist; he wrote literature initially for money for which he later became immortalized; he was trained as a physician but treated peasants without pay; he was promiscuous as a bachelor only to…

One of the continual challenges that confront critics of Chekhov’s Three Sisters is to locate a theme that unites the various elements in the play. The initial reaction to its first performances was one of puzzlement as to why the sisters did not go to Moscow: they were wealthy, privileged, and had no familial obstacles to prevent them from the…

The Second Epilogue
Although nearly all have admired Tolstoy’s War and Peace since its publication, critics have been divided over whether the novel has an organizational principle. Some have found it troublesome for its lack of structure, and especially point to the Second Preface which outlines a philosophy of history that distracts from the novel’s artistic achievements.[1] Other critics have claimed…
Dostoevsky

Early reception of The Brothers Karamazov ranged from praise to condemnation, with most of the criticism and debate focused on Book V’s The Tale of the Grand Inquisitor.  Both liberal atheists and conservative believers upbraided Dostoevsky for his alleged identification with the Inquisitor’s position against God; while a minority of critics, such as Vladimir Soloviev, applauded Dostoevsky’s exploration and defense…

The importance of place is often neglected by liberal theorists, with the assumption that liberal ideas are understood and articulated in the same manner from one society to another.[i] But as much as ideas shape a society’s culture and politics so do culture and politics shape ideas. In this article, I want to explore these relationships of politics, culture, and…