The Old Believers movement Periodicals, 1905-1918 The series on the Old Believers provides a wide variety of materials that will help to shed new light on the fascinating history of this religious minority and its place in Russian history. The present installment includes the most prominent and widely read Old Believers’ periodicals published between 1905 and 1918. The collection includes, amongst others, journals of the
Zlatostrui, Mirskaia zhizni), of the so-called
Pomor´e Union (
Shchit very, Vestnik Vserossiĭ skogo soiuza khristian pomorskogo soglasiia), the Belokrinitskiĭ Hierarchy (
Tserkov’, Staroobriadcheskaia mysl’, Staroobriadets) and the Chapel Consent (
Ural´skiĭ staroobriadets). Published during one of the most dynamic and turbulent periods of Russian history, these periodicals allow us to appreciate the traditional, yet vibrant world of the Old Believers at the eve of the revolution.
The Old Believers movement Cyrillic-Script Books, 1906-1916 The printing of Old Believer books in
kirillicheskiĭ shrift is a unique phenomenon in book history. The Old Believer movement carried on the traditions of Russian Orthodox Christianity into the middle of the 20th century. The Old Believer culture was outstanding in its rigorous acceptance of Cyrillic Church Slavonic texts, and in its guarded attitude toward the same texts printed in
grazhdanskiĭ shrift, which were introduced by Peter I in 1708. The books printed in Cyrillic have therefore always been the main source of information concerning the history and spiritual faith of the Old Believers. The beginning of the 20th century witnessed an avalanche of printed Old Believer religious literature. This literature comprises a number of original monographs, titled books, and icon-painting originals, as well as reprinted anti-Old Believer pamphlets in
krillicheskiĭ shrift bearing polemic comments written by Old Believer adepts.
The Old Believers movement Old Believer Secular Literature, 1906-1918 At the dawn of the 20th century, the Old Believers exhibited an amazing ability to adapt to the new social and economic conditions without abandoning their traditional culture or their religious beliefs. This period saw the birth and subsequent blossoming of the widely known business dynasties. One of the main driving forces behind the printing of books in
grazhdanskiĭ shrift was the revival of the polemic disputes between the Old Believers and the official Church. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Old Believers printed their secular literature in
grazhdanskiĭ shrift, in order to draw attention to their crucial need for a greater number of sympathizers from the outside.
The variety of this type of Old Believer literature is extensive, ranging from historical and ethnographic works, polemic and political essays, scholarly works on philosophy, economics, and statistics, to works on theology and law, the minutes of Old Believer assemblies, fiction, and even poetry.
The recourse by the Old Believers to
grazhdanskiĭ shrift and their deliberate orientation toward the “outside” reader and secular themes, makes this literature both more accessible and richer in substance and variety of topics.