"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Political Symbols in Russian History

Much nonsense is talked by those whose understanding of the relationship between Church and state in Russia has never been updated beyond polemical--and now discredited--bleatings about "caseropapism." Thanks to an ongoing resurgence of scholarly interest, we are now able to understand more deeply than previously the Church-state relationship in Russia--both in its current manifestation and its history. Neither is nearly as straightforward as one so often hears.

We now have a new book out shedding further light on these questions:

Lee Trepanier, Political Symbols in Russian History: Church, State, and the Quest for Order and Justice (Lexington Books, 2010,) x+197pp.

About this book the publisher tells us the following:

Political Symbols in Russian History is one of the few works that presents an analytical and comprehensive account of Russian history and politics between the years of 988 to 2005. From Kievan Rus to Putin's Russia, this book traces the development, evolution, and impact that political symbols have had on Russian society. By using Eric Vogelin's "new science of politics" as the human search for order and justice, Dr. Lee Trepanier provides a fresh and unique approach to the studies of political culture and civil society. For those interested in Russian politics and intellectual history, Political Symbols offers the most up-to-date scholarship on such political symbols and social institutions like the Russian Orthodox Church and State. This book presents an innovative approach to understanding symbols in the search for order and justice in Russian history.

Interested readers may also read the table of contents here. Look for this to be reviewed later this year in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies by Dr. Heather Bailey of the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Springfield. 

1 comment:

  1. I read (and panned) the PhD dissertation this book was based off of on a blog I once kept, but sadly the review is lost. My main problem with the work is that there should be no such thing as "Voegelian analysis," i.e., a "school" or "orientation" of analysis that simply lifts and applies concepts from Voegelin's mammoth body of work without critical reflection. I thought the dissertation engaged in too much mild mannered acceptance of certain concepts of "order" and "disorder" in Voegelin's thought and then proceeded to go through the course of Russian history to say, "Oh this is good order..." or "Oh this is disorder." Very unhelpful.


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