Russian Presence, A History of the Russian Orthodox Church in Australia

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The Russian Orthodox community is a relatively small and little known group in Australian society, however, the history of the Russian presence in Australia goes back to 1807.

Russian Presence, A History of the Russian Orthodox Church in Australia

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The Russian Orthodox community is a relatively small and little known group in Australian society, however, the history of the Russian presence in Australia goes back to 1807.

The book broadly chronicles the development of the Russian community as it struggles to become a viable partner in Australia's multicultural society. Many never before published documents have been researched and hitherto closed archives in Russia have been accessed. To facilitate this research the author travelled to Russia, the United States and a number of European centres to study the archives of pre-Soviet Russian communities. Furthermore, the archives and publications of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox church have been used extensively.

The work notes the development of Australian-Russian relations as contacts with Imperial Russian naval and scientific ships visiting the colonies increased during the 1800's and traces this relationship into the 20th century. With the appearance of a Russian community in the 19th century, attempts were made to establish the Russian Orthodox church on Australian soil. However, this did not eventuate until the arrival of a number of groups of Russian refugees after the Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War (1918 - 1922). As a consequence of Australia's "Populate or Perish" policy following the Second World War the numbers of Russian and other Orthodox Slavic displaced persons arriving in this country grew to such an extent that the Russian Church was able to establish a diocese in Australia, and later in New Zealand. The book then divides the history of the Russian Orthodox presence into chapters dealing with the administrative epochs of each of the ruling bishops. This has proven to be a suitable matrix for study as each period has its own distinct personalities and issues.

The successes, tribulations and challenges of the church in Australia are chronicled up to the end of the 20th century. However, a further chapter deals with the issue of the church prospects in Australia and its relevance to future generations of Russian Orthodox people.

Dr Michael Proctor Protopopov is currently senior lecturer in theology at the Melbourne Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies and Dean of the southern states of the Australian diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad. He has had a long career in teaching and is the author of a number of articles and monographs on church history. Father Michael is the author of a four volume history on the bishops of the Russian Church in Australia, written in Russian, which has received acclaim for preserving the history and the spirit of the early years of the church trying to establish itself in a new land. Father Michael has been honoured with the order of Australia, the Russian Order of Friendship and the United Nation's Volunteer Service Medal for his dedication to humanitarian causes and service to the community.

Colour cover, 215 X 280mm, 477 pages, Hard cover

Additional Information

Author Michael A. Protopopov
Pages 477
Cover Hard
Width (mm) 215
Height (mm) 280

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