Predictably, the Russian Orthodox Church has been the subject of more study than any other religious establishment in Russia. Works concerning the Orthodox Church, therefore, have been divided into several sections: General Works, Monasteries, Clergy, Schism, Saints, and Icons. Prayer books and calendars, having no comprehensive bibliographies, are described briefly in this introduction.
Several books exist that explain the different kinds of prayer books in the Eastern Orthodox Church. One such book is Konstantin Nikolskii’s Obozrenie bogosluzhebnykh knig pravoslavnoi rossiiskoi tserkvi po otnosheniiu ikh k tserkovnomu ustavu (U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Microform (Slavic) MFICHE 264.01947 N589o). After determining the kind of book desired, researchers can search by title (for example “Sluzhebnik”) under the subject heading “Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov-Liturgy-Texts,” “Orthodox Eastern Church-Liturgy,””Orthodox Eastern Church, Russian-Liturgy,” or under the Dewey Decimal call number 264.019 or 264.01947.
Since 1944, the Moscow Patriarchate has published calendars annually entitled “Pravoslavnyi tserkovnyi kalendar’.” See the General Works section on this page for more on these sites. There is also a Staroobriadcheskii tserkovnyi kalendar’ (U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 281.9305 ST). Metropolitan sees in other countries also publish calendars with similar titles. They may also be called “mesiatseslov.” These calendars indicate which saints are remembered on which days and what liturgy is read. There may be an index of saints, showing on which day their names can be found. Butina and Tarasov have a nice bibliography of calendars in their Pravoslavie, cited below. In library catalogs, such calendars can be found under the subject headings “Devotional calendars-Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov.”or “Church calendars-Russia-History.” They will often have “mesiatseslov” or “tserkovnyi kalendar” in the title.
Mezhov’s historical bibliographies, Russkaia istoricheskaia bibliografiia, also contain sections on religion. One set of books covers 1850-1854, and the other set covers 1865-1876. They are annotated in the history section of the course. Zaionchkovskii’s annotated index of memoirs also has sections on religious movements and schools. See the annotation in the biography section.
Patriarkh Aleksei II, ed., Moskva: Tserkovno-nauchnyi tsentr “Pravoslavnaia Entsiklopediia,” 2000-.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) Q.281.94703 P892
Pravoslavnaia entsiklopediia is an excellent resource for general information on Russian Orthodox Christianity. As of this writing (April 2010) it is still a work in progress with 22 volumes published so far. It contains essays on various topics such as church history, the Patriarchate, art, architecture, lives of saints, etc., and includes bibliographies. The introductory volume also has a timetable of history, divided into church and state, which ends at 2000, and a list of sources used. The electronic version of the Encyclopedia is available on its website; the online coverage depends on the volume: the electronic versions of the volumes published several years ago are usually thorough, while recent ones may still be under construction and lack articles that are present in the print version. This link shows an article on hagiology and its online version.
Makarii, Metropolit Moskvi. Moskva: Izd-vo Spaso-preobrazhenskogo Valaamskogo monastyr, 1994-1995. 10 v.
U of I Library Call Number: Oak Street Facility 281.947 M28i
While not technically an encyclopedia, this comprehensive work is similar in that it includes articles with an appended bibliography. The time period covered is remarkably broad: AD 60 to 1997. Makarii’s essays, originally published in 1866, make up books 1-7. The newest edition includes three additional volumes: Smolich is the author of volume 8 and the Prilozhenie , and Vladislav Tsypin wrote volume 9. While this set could be difficult for someone interested in a particular issue spanning a wide time period, as the volumes are divided by time period, its many indices and bibliographies will help. Each volume has an index by name and one of geographic place names and ethnic groups. Every volume also has a list of Makarii’s sources and (in latest edition) new literature on that volume’s time period. A useful section could be the list of research done at Moscow and Leningrad Dukhovnykh akademiiakh. Tsypin’s volume (v.9) is notable as one of the largest works on religion in the Soviet period, however it does not contain a bibliography. The Prilozhenie is on monasticism from 988-1917, and it includes lists of monasteries.
Sankt-Peterburg: Izd-vo P.P. Soikina, 1913.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 281.94703 P766 v.1-2
Compiled by specialists in the field of Orthodoxy, this encyclopedia contains articles about all aspects of that religion. Entries, listed in alphabetical order, are mostly names of religious thinkers and biblical figures. Some geographic place names are included as well. The entries can be fairly brief with no bibliographical references, but they can give you an idea of the historical significance of the figure. See the entry to the right on Nikolai Aleksandrovich Eleonskii.
Petrograd: Strannik, 1900-1911. 12 v. never completed.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Microform (Slavic) MFICHE 281.94703 P891
This encyclopedia covers a broad range of topics, such as biblical history, church history, liturgy, canon law, and hagiography. It has a list of maps and illustrations, and contents for each volume at the back. Articles can be several pages long. Some entries include one or two bibliographic references or tell what day a particular person is honored on. The work was never completed and ends with the word Konstantinopol.
Filaret (Gumilevskii), Arkhiepiskop chernigovskii. Oxford: Willem A. Meeuws, 1984. 511 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.2 F47o1984
This reprint of an 1884 work gives descriptions, ranging from a paragraph to several pages, on various authors. The dictionary begins with Cyril and Methodious and continues in chronological order. Major works are sometimes mentioned in the blurb, but without a formal citation. There is an alphabetical index to the volume. The usefulness of this resource would vary depending on what author you are looking for. See this page for the entry on Cyril and Methodious.
Gordienko, N.S. Moskva: Izdatel’stvo politicheskoi literatury, 1988. 270 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 281.94703 P8912
This propagandistic dictionary is actually quite useful for brief definitions of concepts in Eastern Orthodoxy. Entries cover religious figures, secular people who wrote about religion, concepts such as the Trinity, and major journals. There are no bibliographic references.
General Works: Bibliographies
Chistiakova, A.S.; Kurochkina, O.V., editors. Moskva: Rossiiskaia gosudarstvennaia biblioteka, 1997.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.281947 R9213 (volume 2 only)
Volume one covers church historians; volume two has theologians. Most are from the 19th century. Each person included has a biography, writings listed alphabetically by title, including publications in journals, then works about him. The entries also include works each author translated or edited. A well organized source for researching specific people. See this link for a page on Vlastov Georgii Konstantinovich.
Pravoslavie: bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ knig na russkom i tserkovno-slavianskom iazykakh za 1918-1993 gg.
N.Iu. Butina and K.K. Tarasov, compilers. Moskva: Pravoslavnii Sviato-Tikhonovskii Bogoslovskii Institut, 1999. 504 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.281947 B975p
This bibliography is useful in that it is one of the few sources covering the whole Soviet period, although the majority of citations are from 1988-1993. Topics include state’s relation to church, art, bibles, and philosophy. The compilers point out that many of the publications from 1990s are reprints and therefore do not actually cover Soviet history. The book is well organized, with a table of contents highly subdivided by subject and indexes of names and titles. It is not annotated.
Tom 2: Vera. Tvorchestvo. Obrazovanie. Ch.1: Tserkov i religiia. Literatura. Ch.2: Shkola i prosveshchenie.
P. Miliukov. Parizh: Sovremenniia zapiski, 1931.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks and Oak Street Facility 914.7 M62o1930
Volume 2, Part 1 of this multi-volume work contains essays on various topics in Russian religious history, and Part 2 has a section on religious education in Kievan Rus. The articles are very general but are followed by bibliographies in paragraph form with commentary on the cited works. This work is notable for its coverage of the 1917 revolution and early Soviet era, as most bibliographies of the Soviet era focus on the later years. There is also a large section on old-believers and other sects.
Russkie pisateli emigratsii: biograficheskie svedeniia i bibliografiia ikh knig po bogosloviiu, religioznoi filosofi, tserkovnoi istorii i pravoslavnoi kul’ture, 1921-1972.
Zernov, Nikolai. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1973. 182 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.21 Z54r
This source covers a similar time period to Butina and Tarasov’s Pravoslavie, but deals with émigré writings. See the citation from the section “Biographical Sources for Religion and Philosophy in Russia”:
This source presents Russian emigre authors who have written on religious subjects and “identify themselves with the Orthodox Church” according to the preface. The introduction gives a brief overview of emigre religious writing and identifies a few major themes in the literature. Entries in this book begin with a brief biographical sketch and are followed by a bibliography of major works by the individual, which excludes pre-revolutionary publications and articles. An appendix has a few additional entries. In addition, there is a list of emigre church publications and major emigre journals and collections related to religion.
General Resources: Websites
Yandex.ru and Rambler.ru, Russian search engines, and Google.ru have links to commonly-used cites on specific topics. Both Yandex and Rambler have religion as one of their topics and list the most commonly-used sites on religion. Keep in mind that these sites are selected for frequency of use and not reputability. Several sites from Rambler’s list are described here, specifically those that seem to cover broad areas or provide a gateway to many other sites. Google does not have a general link for religion, but it has one for Pravoslavie (Eastern Orthodoxy).
The official site of the Moscow Patriarchate has news stories, a biography of Patriarch Aleksei II, Decisions of the Holy Synod, links to web pages of various diocese within and outside Russia (this does not seem to be a complete list), and a link to a calendar. There are also English and German versions of this site.
Materialy dlia istoriko-topograficheskogo izsliedovaniia o pravoslavnykh monastyriakh v Rossiiskoi Imperii, c bibliograficheskim ukazatelem.
Zverinskii, V.V. Sankt Peterburg: [self-published], 1890. 3 v.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 271.8 Z89m; History, Philosophy, & Newspaper FILM 271.8 Z89M
Although the organization of this guide can be confusing, it is useful for its extensive bibliographies. The volumes are divided by whether the monastery is new, restored, or closed. The first volume has numerous indexes, such as a list by year built and a list by location. The descriptions of the monasteries are in alphabetical order within each volume. Short articles give location and founding information, followed by substantial bibliographies.
Denisov, L.I. Moskva: Stupina, 1908. 984 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Oak Street Facility 271.8 D41p
A listing of all 1,105 monasteries existing in the Russian Empire in 1907. The list is divided by geographical area, but it also includes alphabetical indexes of men’s and women’s monasteries. For each monastery, the author notes location, founding information, architectural features, and number of residents. Bibliographical references are included within the entries. This source is also an electronic resource. The link to the e-resource can be found here in our catalog record.
Gennadi, G. N. Sankt Peterburg, Tipografiia Eduarda Pratsa, 1854. 47 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Oak Street Facility 016.2718 G28s
This source is unusual in that it is only a bibliography; it does not contain descriptions of the monasteries. It is a brief list, but could be useful. The book contains a bibliography of books on specific monasteries, alphabetized by towns, followed by a bibliography of more general works on monasteries. Sometimes a table of contents or short annotation is included, often not. There is an index of authors and of monastery names.
Polnoe sobranie istoricheskikh svedenii o vsekh byvshikh v drevnosti i nyne sushchestvuiushchikh monastyriakh i primechatel’nykh tserkvakh v Rossii.
Ratshin, Aleksandr. Moskva: Knizhnaia Palata, 2000. 587 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 271.81947 P766
This reprint of an 1852 work lists monasteries by guberniia and also includes Georgia and China. The index by gubernia in back is more or less a table of contents, and there is also an alphabetical index by title of monastery. The section on each guberniia is divided into existing and destroyed monasteries, then churches. The entry for each monastery tells its location, when it was founded, and a brief history, ranging from 5 lines to 3 pages. There is no bibliography.
Arkhiepiskop Bronnitskii Tikhon, redaktor. Moskva: Izd. Moskovskoi Patriarkhii i izd. “Respublika,” 2000. 460 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 281.94703 R9212
This is a recent work similar in kind to the 19th century encyclopedias of monasteries. The organization is a little confusing: it starts with Moscow, then Moscow Oblast, then other regions in alphabetical order. The work covers the FSU and other European countries. Each entry includes an address, sometimes a telephone number, founding information, history, number of residents, what relics are there, and what churches associated with the monastery. Color photographs accompany many of the articles. At the end is a 45-page historical essay, divided into pre-1917 and post-1917.
Many monasteries also have web sites.
N. Mitrokhin and S. Timofeeva. Moskva: Panorama, 1997. 451 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 281.9092247 M697e
This is a biographical dictionary of bishops from all dioceses in Russia, Ukraine, Belorus, and the Baltic states. Each bio has a photograph and tells the bishop’s birthday and awards received. The articles are accompanied by addresses of churches, monasteries, schools, and publications of that diocese. Sources are cited for each entry. An introductory section on the Moscow Patriarchy explains the administrative structure of the Patriarchy and its divisions (such as education and internal affairs). A closing essay tells about the church under Soviet rule. The following link will take you to a page on Dimitrii, bishop of Tobolskii and Tiumenskii dioceses.
Spiski arkhiereev ierarkhii vserossiiskoi i arkhiereiskikh kafedr so vremeni uchrezhdeniia sviateishago pravitel’stvuiushchago sinoda (1721-1896).
Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov. Sviateishchii pravitelstvuiushchii sinod. Sankt Peterburg: Sinodal’naia tipografiia, 1896. 121 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 281.9 R922s
This well-organized, comprehensive book lists all past and present bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church. Entries tell when the bishop was ordained, what positions he held, and when he died. The bishops are divided into current and past, with both lists arranged in chronological order. An alphabetical list of bishops indicates where the entries on them can be found. There is also a list of dioceses, which tells when they were established and who their bishops are.
This is one of the best-covered topics of Russian church history. Brokhaus explains in his encyclopedia entry on “Raskol” that the schism began to be a topic for scientific study in the 1850s. Before this point all writing about the old-believers was a tool for defeating them. Until 1855 the only history of the schism was Archpriest Andrei Zhuravlev’s “Istoricheskoe izvestie o raskol’nikakh.” Since then many bibliographies have been published on the subject.
S.G. Vurgaft, I.A. Ushakov. Moskva: Tserkov’, 1996. 316 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 281.947 V984s
This would be a good introduction to the schism and complement to other bibliographies, at it explains who the writers are who are cited elsewhere. Entries are primarily people but also some places and organizations. There are no citations attached to articles.
Raskol-sektantstvo: materialy dlia izucheniia religiozno-bytovykh dvizhenii russkogo naroda. Vyp.1: bibliografiia staroobriadchestva i ego razvetlenii.
Prugavin, Aleksandr Stepanovich. Moskva: Tipografiia V.V. Islen’eva, 1887. 523 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 281.947 P95ra
This broad bibliography on old-believers covers history, dogma, day-to-day life of old believers and various small sects. Most citations are from the late 19th century. Citations are alphabetical by title and include conversations with old believers, books and journal articles. Most citations are not annotated, but others list the entire table of contents. Brief descriptions explain each smaller sect. The table of contents is detailed, and there is also an index of authors.
F. Sakharov. Tambov: Tipografiia Gubernskago upravleniia, 1887 (volume 1). Sankt-Peterburg: Sinodal’naia tipografiia, 1892, 1900 (volumes 2 and 3).
U of I Library Call Number: History, Philosophy, & Newspaper FILM 016.281947 Sa29l
This well organized and extensive bibliography includes books, brochures, and journal articles. The compiler used Academy bibliographies, Mezhov, and journal indexes to prepare the first volume, which he then supplemented in 2 more volumes based on library catalogs. All three volumes have the same table of contents, which includes early history, daily life, and various sects. Introductions to each volume give examples of how to read the citations. Each volume also has an index of authors.
N. Barsukov. Sankt-Peterburg: Tipografiia M.M. Stasiulevicha, 1882.
U of I Library Call number: International & Area Studies Microform (Slavic) MFICHE 281.9092247 B28i
This work describes all Russian saints up to the time of writing. Entries are alphabetical by saint, and most include bibliographical references. The introduction lists abbreviations for all sources that are cited in the main part of the work. There is also an index arranged by city.
Golubinskii, E. Moskva, 1903. 600 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 922.147 G58i1903
Although Golubinskii’s work is extensive, it is unfortunately not organized in a straightforward way. The first section describes works that the author found useful. Several chapters on history of canonization are mixed with lists of saints from the relevant time period. Saints are listed chronologically. An alphabetical list of deceased saints includes references. There is an alphabetical index, but it does not include all the lists.
Makarii, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia. Sankt-Peterburg: Imperatorskaia Akademiia Nauk, 1868-1915.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Microform (Slavic) MFICHE 281.947 M289v. Main Stacks Q. 922.22 M28v
This is the most famous of the genre of Minei. Minei are multi-volume works in calendar form that do not correspond with a specific year. In addition to listing what saints are honored on which days, the Minei compiles writings from various saints and biographies of saints. First published in 1541 in 12 volumes, Makarii’s work was partially reprinted in 1868. Makarii claims to have surveyed all church writings in preparation for compiling this work. Some biographies were written specially for this work. Since it includes Church Slavic letters, the Velikii Minei-Chet’i can be hard to read. In 1892, Archimandrite Iosif published Podrobnoe oglavlenie velikikh chetiikh-minei vserossiiskago mitropolita Makariia (Moskva: Sinodal’naia tipografiia, 1989), which is a table of contents to this large collection.
Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov’. Moskva: Izdatelstvo Moskovskoi patriarkhii, 1978-1984.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 281.947 R9214m
A more recent publication in the same genre as Makarii’s work. Click here to see the beginning of the page for June 25.
See also Sviatye drevnei Rusi, below. This item is not held at U of I but can be found in WorldCat with the OCLC accession number: 78102104.
The St. Tikhon Theological Institute in Moscow created this database of saints, browsable by several indexes: name, date of birth, date of death, century of life, memorial date and others. There is no keyword searching. Clicking on a particular index will retrieve a list of selected entries in that index. Clicking an entry takes a user to a table beginning with that entry. The tables include saints’ names, dates of birth and death, and century. Saints’ names are then hyperlinked to pages that list more data on them. There is little in narrative form, but the pages list dates associated with the saint, his title, where he lived and a line of commentary.
The website has information about the Russian Orthodox Church saints and their biographies. Besides a simple word search it allows browsing through alphabetical listings as well as browsing by dates when the saints are honored. Some articles are accompanied by prayers that are addressed to a particular saint.
V.V. Filatov. Moskva: Pravoslavnyi sviato-tikhonovskii bogoslovskii institut, 1997. 287 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 704.948203 F472s
This dictionary calls itself a brief collection of terms, designed to educate icon painters. Its brief articles and broad scope, however, make it useful for people new to the subject of iconography, as it explains some of the sources used by icon painters, common subjects of icons and materials used. Entries range from basic subjects like embroidery to kinds of paints and colors. There is no index or table of contents, but cross references are thorough. This book could be good to keep on hand while using some of the bibliographies below.
Zamiatina, N.A. Moskva: Iazyki russkoi kultury, 2000. 270 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 704.948203 Z147t2000
This dictionary of more than 700 words is useful for people interested in the development of iconography. It covers mostly paints and colors, focusing on icons painted on wood. Detailed entries tell the part of speech and variant spellings, explain the meaning, and give examples (often with very old spelling and obsolete letters). Spelling variations are cross-referenced.
Encyclopedic Dictionaries for Icons
Rovinskii, D.A. Sankt Peterburg: Izdanie A.S. Suvorina, 1903. 174 p.
U of I Library Call Number : History, Philosophy, & Newspaper FILM 755.6 R76o
Following 80 pages of text about history of icons and some instructions on mixing colors, this work contains various supplemental reference materials. The largest index is 700 names of icon painters (pp.120-174). Entries are footnoted. Below is an entry from the index of icon painters.
(Zapiski. Moskva. Imperatorskii arkheologicheskii institut. Tom II-oi.)
Uspenskii, A.I. Moskva: Pechatnia A.I. Snegirevoi, 1910.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Microform (Slavic) MFICHE 913.47 M853z v.2
This dictionary of icon painters gives biographies of varying lengths. Short entries tell what the person painted and how much he was paid, longer ones gives detailed descriptions of the person’s work. Some entries included citations, but there is no list of abbreviations. Readers should note an oddity of the ways dates are listed in citations. The years are from the Byzantine calendar, and it was customary to leave off the first digit of the year (which is usually 7). Thus, 161 g. is really the Byzantine year 7161. To find the year according to our calendar, subtract 5508. 1 Indexes are by name of painter, first names of imperial family members, other names, Moscow cathedrals, churches, monasteries, and other geographic place names. A list of illustrations are included at the end.
Kol’tsova, T.M. Arkhangel’sk: Severo-Zapadnoe knizhnoe izdatel’stvo, 1998. 191 p.
U of I Library Call Number : Oak Street Facility 704.94820947 K835s
Although this work is narrow in its geographical scope, scholars looking for a painter who fits the scope may want to start here, due to the ease of using this work. It contains 355 entries on icon painters from the 16th to 20th centuries, divided into 16th-18th and 19th-20th centuries. Painters are listed in alphabetical order, with birthday, biographical info, works and where they are located. Lengths vary. There is an index of names. Sources are included in a list at end, and the list of abbreviations is useful.
See also the website Russkoe Pravoslavie, mentioned above.
Markelov, G.V. Sankt Peterburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 1998. 2 v.
OCLC Accession Number: 78102104
Markelov calls this work the only union catalog of icons by Russian saints. Although it is not a complete catalog, it does take an unusual approach to icons, which it covers in an easy-to-use fashion. The first volume has as its main section an Atlas izobrazhenii, a collection of propisi (black and white or black and red drawings of icons on paper) of saints from the pre-sinodal period. Three hundred examples are included, with title, source, and location included. A catalog of icons in the Russian State Museum is appended, along with an index of saints by name. The second volume consists mainly of the Svod opisanii, an alphabetical listing of 500 saints with their memorial days, citations about them, the number of their entry in the Atlas, and references to literature about them. Indexes cover saints, monasteries and towns.