The course will offer an analysis of the Orthodox Church activity in America by looking at the roots, development of missionary activity. It will begin with a historical overview meant to provide a useful context for the second segment of the course discussion of St. Innocentís work. The course will focus on the complicated economic and political & cultural atmospheres, examining, among other topics, Orthodox Church interactions with the Russian-American Company and the Russian and American governments in different periods. The course will be particularly useful for students who plan to continue with the service of either Alaska or California, but should also be of interest to all students to all students wishing to learn more about the history of Orthodoxy in America.
Grades will be based on three factors:
2 midterm examinations, 20% each;
a final examination, 35%;
participation in class discussion, 25% (discussion with me during my office hours, as well as any written work the students may wish to submit may count toward this as well.)
Schedule of Lectures (Seminars)
The course is broken down into three main time periods, totaling 30 lectures/seminars.
Part 1: Development
1. Russian Orthodox Church Missionary Activity
A. Basic Ideas.
B. Peter the Great, Church reforms, and his attitude toward America.
C. Monasteriesí activity and their role in enlightenment.
2. Prehistory of the Mission
A. Exploration of the Pacific North West, the Russian Governmentís attitude toward America.
B. Merchantsí commercial expeditions and exploration to Alaska.
C. Golikov-Shelikhov Company.
3. Russian Orthodox Mission to Alaska, 1781-1797
A. The idea of the Orthodox Mission to America and its practical fulfillment.
B. Preparation of the Mission and the way to New Valaam.
C. The establishment of the Spiritual Mission to Alaska.
4. The Russian Orthodox Church at the time of the Missionís founding, 1797-1818
A. Acrhimandrite Ioasaf and the Orthodox Mission.
B. Spread of Orthodoxy in America.
C. Russian-American Company (Alexander A. Baranov) and the missionaries.
5. The Difficult Period for the Russian Orthodox Church in America, 1818-1824
A. Monk Herman.
B. Priest-monk Afanasii.
C. Russian-American Company and Orthodox missionaries.
Part II: Apex (1824-1858)
6. Father Ioann Veniaminovís early activity, 1824-1834
A. Father Ioann Veniaminovís activity in Unalashka.
B. The Russian Orthodox Church and native traditions.
C. The Russian-American Company and Orthodox missionaries.
7. Father Ioann Veniaminov, 1834-1840
A. Father Ioann Veniaminovís activity in Sitka.
B. Specific form of Orthodox services in Alaska.
C. The Russian-American Company and Orthodox Missionaries.
8. Bishop Ioann, 1840-1858.
A. Ioann Veniaminovís consecration to the Episcopacy.
B. The Holy Synod and the Russian Orthodox Church in America.
C. The Russian-American Company and Orthodox missionaries.
Part III: Transformation Period (1858-1870)
9. New Archangelísk Vicariate, 1858-1867.
A. Vicar Bishop Petr
B. Spread of the Russian Orthodox Church to other territories in the US.
C. The Russian-American Company and the missionaries.
10. Towards the New Road, 1867-1870.
A. Vicar Bishop Pavel
B. The Russian and American governments and the Russian Orthodox Church.
C. Documents on the Russian Orthodox Church Mission to America in Russian and US depositories.
Required and Optional Literature
[Veniaminov I.] Journals of the Priest Joan Veniaminov in Alaska, 1823 to 1836 / Transl. Jerome Kissenger. Introd. and comment by S.A. Mousalimas. Fairbanks, Alaska: University of Alaska Press, 1993
[Veniaminov Joann E.] The Condition of the Othodox Church in Russian America. Innokentii Veniaminovís History ogf the Russian Church in Alaska / Transl. And Ed. by Robert Nicholas and Robert Croskey // Pacific Northwest Quaterly. Vol. 63. No. 2. April 1972. Pp. 1-29.
Veniaminov I. Zapiski ob ostrovakh Unalashkinskogo Otdela. Tt. 1-3, St. Petersburg. Tipographiia Imperatorskoi Academii Nauk, 1840. English Edition: Veniaminov I. Notes on the Islands of the Unalashka District  / Transl. by Lydia T. Black and R.H. Georgean. Ed. annd Introduction by Richard A. Pierce. Kingston, Ontario, The Limestone Press, 1984.
Bishop Gregory (Afonsky) A History of the Russian Orthodox Church in
Kodiak, Alaska: St. Herman Theological Seminary, 1977
Ware Timothy. The Orthodox Church. London, 1987.
Simth Barbara S. Orthodoxy and Native Americans. N.Y., 1980.
Garrett Paul D. St. Innocent. Appostole to America. Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimirí Seminary Press, 1979.
Okuní Semen B. Rossiisko-Amerikanskaiia Kompaniia. Moscow, Leningrad.
1939. English Edition
Okuní Semen B. The Russian-American Company / Transl. by Carl Ginsburg. Preface by Robert J. Kerner Cambridge (Mass): Harvard University Press, 1955.
Tikhmenev Petr A. Istoricheskoe Obozrenie Obrazovaniia Rossiisko-Amerikanskoi Kompanii i Deistvii ee do nastoiaschego Vremeni. Ch. 1, 2. St. Petersburg: V tipografii E. Veimara, 1861, 1863. English Edition Tikhmenev Petr A. History of the Russian-American Company. Vol. 1. / Transl. by Richard A. Pierce and Alton Donnelley. Seattle and London: University Press, 1979; Vol. 2. Documents. Transl. by Dmitri Krenov / Ed. by Richard A. Pierce and Alton Donnelley. Kingston, Ontario: The Limestone Press, 1979.
Russian Orthodox Church
Meeting of Frontiers
Kluchevsky Vasillii O. A History of Russia.
Vols.3-5. N.Y.: Russell & Russell, 1960.
Istoriia Russkoi Ameriki. Vol. 1-III, Moscow, 1997-1999.
Oleksa M. Orthodox Alaska: A Theology of Mission. Crestwood, N.Y.: SWS Books, 1993.
Pierce Richard A. Russian America: Bibliographical Dictionary.
Kingston, Ontario, 1990.
Nordlander David. Innokentii Veniaminov and the Expansion of Orthodoxy
in Russian America //
Pacific Historical Review, 1995. Vol LXIV No. 1. February. Pp. 19-36.
Bensin Basil M. A History of the Othodox Church in Alaska (1794-1967).
Sitka, Alaska, 1967.
Gaustad, Edwin S., Barlow Philip L. New Historical Atlas of Religion
New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 188-193.
Bancroft Hubert H. History of Alaska, 1730-1855 /
The Works. Vols. 33. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Co., Publishers, 1886.
Black Ludia T. Atka: An Ethnography of the Western Aleutians /
Ed. by Richard A. Pierce. Kingston, Ontario: The Limestone Press, 1984.