Russian And East European Institute | The Orthodox Church in Russia and Eastern Europe
R300 | 0000 | Barbara Skinner

Since the collapse of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe,
religion has re-emerged as a central tenet of ethnic and national
identity.  This course provides a historical and analytical context
for understanding the religious traditions of the Orthodox Church and
its role in the modern national consciousness and cultural identity
of the contemporary states of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania,
Bulgaria, and Serbia -- all lands that were originally under the
spiritual jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople.  Building
on a study of the religious tradition of Orthodoxy and the history of
the national churches, the course concludes with a an inquiry into
contemporary issues facing the post-Communist Orthodox societies.

The course is divided into three areas of focus: 1) the unique
elements of the Eastern Orthodox tradition in distinction from
Western Roman practices; 2) the development of national churches in
Russia and Eastern Europe from the 15th through the 19th centuries
with a focus on the leading historical issues shaping this
development; and 3) the 20th-century dilemma of Communism and post-
Communism: persecution and survival under Communism and the post-
Communist religious revival and issues of identity.

Classes will incorporate both lectures and discussion of assigned
readings in a colloquium format.  Mid-term, final, and one research
paper required.  (Graduate students will additionally provide a book
review.)  Previous courses in Russian and/or Eastern European history
are helpful, but not required.