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Centuries after he ruled Russia from 1689 to 1725, Peter the Great remains one of the most revered and enigmatic leaders in world history. This study by noted Yale historian Paul Bushkovitch casts new light on Peter and his times, and demonstrates why it is impossible to comprehend the later course of Russian history without first grasping Peter's profound influence. Bushkovitch illustrates how Peter, during his thirty-six years as tsar, transformed his country into a modern nation - he strengthened the state, reorganized the army, established a navy, and conquered new territories. In addition to these momentous acheivements, Peter changed the face of the Russian character by introducing European culture, scientific innovations, and political thought to Russia. His influence ultimately paved the way for liberalism, Western style nationalism, and communism. In the end, neither his contemporaries nor generations of future historians can agree on how Peter should be remembered: was he a heroic reformer who brought Russia into the modern age, or a violent despot who valued the ideas of foreigners over Russian heritage?
- Format: Paperback
- ISBN-13: 9780847696390
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc
- Published: January 2003
Our Price: $150.00
In this book, Bushkovitch traces the evolution of religious attitudes in an important transitional period in Russian history, the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Concentrating on the attitudes of the court and elite of Russian society, he explores the effects of the gradual decline of Monastic spirituality, the rise of miracle cults, and the redefinition of Orthodoxy in the seventeenth century.Around 1650, preaching and a moral reformation of the individual believer began to displace the predominant miracle cults and rituals. Centered at first in the court of Tsar Aleksei, these changes began to spread into society at large by the end of the seventeenth century. This redefinition of Orthodoxy created a religion that stressed virtue more than revelation, and thus prepared the ground for the secularization of Russian culture in Peter the Great's time.Using unpublished manuscript material as well as early printed books, Bushkovitch demonstrates that this period was far from the stable (or stagnant) era of Slavophile myth, but a time of continuous and often rapid change. Discussing areas never before researched (such as miracle cults), he not only skillfully reconstructs these rapid and fundamental changes in the Russian religious experience, but also shows how they were influenced by European religious ideas and how they foreshadowed the secularization of Russian society.
- Format: Hardcover
- ISBN-13: 9780195069464
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Published: May 1992