Colonizing Russia’s Promised Land: Orthodoxy and Community on the Siberian Steppe

By Aileen E. Friesen

© 2020

The movement of millions of settlers to Siberia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries marked one of the most ambitious undertakings pursued by the tsarist state. Colonizing Russia’s Promised Land examines how Russian Orthodoxy acted as a basic building block for constructing Russian settler communities in current-day southern Siberia and northern Kazakhstan. Russian state officials aspired to lay claim to land that was politically under their authority, but remained culturally unfamiliar. By exploring the formation and evolution of Omsk diocese – a settlement mission – Colonizing Russia’s Promised Land reveals how the migration of settlers expanded the role of Orthodoxy as a cultural force in transforming Russia’s imperial periphery by "russifying" the land and marginalizing the Indigenous Kazakh population.

In the first study exploring the role of Orthodoxy in settler colonialism, Aileen Friesen shows how settlers, clergymen, and state officials viewed the recreation of Orthodox parish life as practised in European Russia as fundamental to the establishment of settler communities, and to the success of colonization. Friesen uniquely gives peasant settlers a voice in this discussion, as they expressed their religious aspirations and fears to priests and tsarist officials. Despite this agreement, tensions existed not only among settlers, but also within the Orthodox Church as these groups struggled to define what constituted the Russian Orthodox faith and culture.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.0in x 9.2in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 9239

Book Formats

SKU# SP004157

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2020

    From: $48.75

    Regular Price: $65.00

    ISBN 9781442637191
  • PUBLISHED JAN 2020

    From: $48.75

    Regular Price: $65.00

Quick Overview

Colonizing Russia’s Promised Land: Orthodoxy and Community on the Siberian Steppe, examines how Russian Orthodoxy acted as a basic building block for constructing Russian settler communities in current-day southern Siberia and northern Kazakhstan.

Colonizing Russia’s Promised Land: Orthodoxy and Community on the Siberian Steppe

By Aileen E. Friesen

© 2020

The movement of millions of settlers to Siberia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries marked one of the most ambitious undertakings pursued by the tsarist state. Colonizing Russia’s Promised Land examines how Russian Orthodoxy acted as a basic building block for constructing Russian settler communities in current-day southern Siberia and northern Kazakhstan. Russian state officials aspired to lay claim to land that was politically under their authority, but remained culturally unfamiliar. By exploring the formation and evolution of Omsk diocese – a settlement mission – Colonizing Russia’s Promised Land reveals how the migration of settlers expanded the role of Orthodoxy as a cultural force in transforming Russia’s imperial periphery by "russifying" the land and marginalizing the Indigenous Kazakh population.

In the first study exploring the role of Orthodoxy in settler colonialism, Aileen Friesen shows how settlers, clergymen, and state officials viewed the recreation of Orthodox parish life as practised in European Russia as fundamental to the establishment of settler communities, and to the success of colonization. Friesen uniquely gives peasant settlers a voice in this discussion, as they expressed their religious aspirations and fears to priests and tsarist officials. Despite this agreement, tensions existed not only among settlers, but also within the Orthodox Church as these groups struggled to define what constituted the Russian Orthodox faith and culture.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 240 pages
  • Illustrations: 10
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.0in x 9.2in
  • Reviews

    "Aileen E. Friesen is to be credited for engaging studies of empire broadly as well as comparative religious aspects of empire‐building more specifically."


    Christine D. Worobec, Department of History, Northern Illinois University

    "This groundbreaking study of settler colonialism uncovers its failure in the myriad of disagreements among peasant settlers as well as clergymen as to what constituted the Russian Orthodox faith they sought to transplant to Siberia."


    Laurie Manchester, Department of History, Arizona State University
  • Author Information

    Aileen E. Friesen is an assistant professor and Co-director of the Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies at the University of Winnipeg.
  • Table of contents

    List of Figures
    Acknowledgments

    Introduction

    1 A Settler Diocese

    2 Churches as a National Project

    3 Parishes under Construction

    4 The Politics of Pastoring

    5 Living and Dying among Strangers

    6 An Anthill of Baptists in a Land of Muslims

    Conclusion

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index

Related Titles