Russian Journal of Church History

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Russian Journal of Church History has been issued since 2020 at the initiative and with the participation of the Department of Church History of M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow). It is a scientific and practical, peer-reviewed journal for historians and art historians. 

Editor-in-Chief – Prof. Veniamin V. Simonov (Moscow, Russian Federation).

Russian Journal of Church History – is an independent project of graduates and employees of the Department of Church History of Moscow state University M. V. Lomonosov (Moscow), designed to cover the issues of modern Church-historical science and become a neutral platform for graduate students, scientists, researchers as well as secular and religious academic institutions.

The publication is created as a scientific and practical, peer-reviewed journal with a humanitarian focus. The Russian Journal of Church History plans to publish scientific articles and source materials directly related to the history, archaeology and history of Church art of different denominations of Christianity, including Western and Eastern denominations, as well as philological and archaeological research.

Open access journal

Full text versions of all issues are available on the website of the Scientific electronic library —, publisher's website —

The website of the journal:

Rules for authors:


ISSN 2686-973X (Print), ISSN 2687-069X (Online), Format 240х170, 4 issues per year, installation edition of 1 000 copies.

The journal is registered by the Ministry of digital development of communications and mass communications of the Russian Federation 26.05.2010 (PI № FS 77-40041).

Work plan of the Russian journal of Church history for 2021

№ issue

Acceptance of articles in the current issue (up to)

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Current issue

Vol 3, No 2 (2022)
View or download the full issue PDF (Russian)

Church history 

5-23 285

The article presents the main points on the history of the institution of deaconesses in the Armenian Apostolic Church. While the testimonies to the Armenian deaconesses date back to the 10th century, the analysis of these fragmentary passages raises various problems of textual and content-related character. The institution of deaconesses reached its peak in the 19th century, being associated with monastic circles. In the 20th century, with the disappearance of a small number of Armenian women’s convents, the institution declined, although today there are some local efforts to re-establish diaconal service of women in the parish life.

24-49 55

The article is focused on the preaching and missionary work of the English Catholic woman in the 16th — 17th cc., as it was represented in a wide range of texts: biographies of pious Catholic Englishwomen written by their secretaries, chaplains and the nuns of the English convents in the Netherlands and France, chronicles and registers of these convents, conversion stories and letters by Catholic women. A study of these sources makes the author conclude that references to female preaching appeared only in manuscript texts that existed within private space and were intended for female audience — for the nuns and their female relatives in England and abroad. The texts were linked to English Jesuits. The descriptions of the episodes of female preaching followed some general rules. The Catholic Englishwomen taught or preached to only those below them in social standing: children, relatives, or servants, but never to the men of the status, which equaled theirs, because it was thought that to convert a man a preacher or a teacher needed to produce rational arguments, and women were not considered to be capable of this. It is shown that this view reflected the gender stereotypes of the time, not the reality of female missionary work.

50-65 184

The article examines the phenomenon of Maria Alexandrovna Cherkasova, the founder and permanent head of the Beirut schools of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in 1887-1914. This woman implemented a project in which educational activities were organically combined with religion and feminism. The main message of M. A. Cherkasova is “a man and a woman are equal in the eyes of God.” High level of intelligence, deep religiosity, intolerance to hypocrisy and formalism, willingness to fight uncompromisingly for their ideals allowed M. A. Cherkasova will become one of the recognized leaders of the Beirut Orthodox community. Acting “for the Glory of God,” M. A. Cherkasova clashed with influential men: N. M. Anichkov, curator of Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society educational institutions, inspectors, Russian consuls in Beirut, Arab Selim Shkhade.

The article is based on a study of a large number of unpublished sources stored in six files of the RIPPO Foundation from the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire. Of the greatest interest is a long letter from M. A. Cherkasova addressed to the chairman of the society, Elizabeth Fedorovna: a kind of confession, a “cry of the soul”, a final story about the activities of Beirut schools, as well as an alternative history of the activities of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in the Middle East. The subjective opinion of M. A. Cherkasova is balanced by the assessments of other Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society employees: teachers A. S. Dubenskaya and A. F. Klementovskaya, inspector M. M. Nikanorov, as well as N. M. Anichkov and Elizaveta Fedorovna.

The study of a large number of unique, previously unpublished documents makes it possible to make a psychologically reliable portrait of M. A. Cherkasova and objectively assess her achievements.

66-98 78

The article presents biographical insights into and analysis of the church and public activities of abbess Ekaterina, in the world — countess Efimovskaya Evgenia Borisovna. The article focuses on the detailed analysis of her activities in the Lesninsky Holy Mother of God Monastery in the Kholmsky region the abbess of which she was for more than 20 years. The most significant concepts of abbess Ekaterina (Efimovskaya), namely public service of monasteries (“new monasticism”), the revival of the institution of deaconesses and these concepts practical implementation in the activities of the Lesninsky monastery are studied. The innovative practices of the pedagogical, educational and social activities of the monastery community that were carried out in the conditions of the growing social and state crisis of the Russian Empire of the 19th — early 20th century are described.

99-125 61

The article comprehensively studied the history of the convent founded by Father John of Kronstadt in his homeland in the village of Sura, Pinezhsky district, Arkhangelsk region. The unrelenting interest in Father John requires the study and history of the Sura St. John the Theologian Convent. Numerous studies dedicated to the saint practically do not affect the history of the Sura monastery. An analysis of the features of the formation and development of the Sura Monastery contributes to the study of female monasticism and monastic construction in the Russian North. The revival of the monastery today implies close attention to its history. The article, written with the involvement of a large array of unpublished materials, creates a general picture of monastic life. The circumstances and reasons for the founding are indicated, the architectural ensemble of the Sura Monastery is presented. An assessment of the economic activity of the monastery is given. The circumstances of the emergence of farmsteads in Arkhangelsk and St. Petersburg and the monastery skete in Letovskaya Grove are briefly outlined. The often hidden and least explored inner life of the monastery is touched upon. Relations with the world are presented with an emphasis on the social service of the monastery.

126-136 51

The article provides an overview of the history of some women’s monasteries in the South of Russia in the first post-revolutionary years. The conclusion is made about the organizational and economic stability of the women’s communities. The destruction of the monastic households and the nun`s communities themselves occurred as a result of the targeted efforts of local Soviet authorities, and sometimes even direct repression. However, separate groups of nuns in many places continued their religious life and influence on the population until the 1980s. The phenomenon of women’s monastic communities in Russia in the 20th century requires further comprehensive study.

137-147 62

Sr. Oderisia Knechtle developed the symbolic approach to religious education while working with disadvantaged and disabled children in Germany from 1925 onwards. Her fame spread from the 1960s, after members of the swiss Grenchener Kreis, who were engaged in the renewal of religious teaching, encouraged her to return to her home country Switzerland and dedicate her activities to courses for catechists and teachers. Didactically innovative and theologically conservative, and not part of the academic establishment she got little academic reception, not even through the revival of the symbolic approach in religious education since the 1980s which now has become part of the mainstream.

New findings 

148-155 53

In the article a source study of inscriptions on Cyrillic books of the 17th century was carried out, as a result of which it was possible to uncover a rare historical plot, the main character of which is one of the notable residents of the city of Soligalich at the time. We are talking about the book contributions of the posadsky wife Matrona Kalistratova, a wealthy owner of salterns аnd other property, that have survived to date. Her book donations, addressed to Soligalich and the nearby Gorodets monastery, made it possible to highlight some facts from Matrona’s biography and her role in the Church history of the Kostroma Region. It turned out that Matrona Kalistratova is one of the participants in the posthumous miracles of St. Abramius of Galich, which is reflected in the Life of the saint. It is the detailed inscriptions on her book contributions, which immediately attract attention due to their content among the preserved old printed books of the Kostroma Region repositories, that allowed us to draw undoubted parallels with the hagiographic text. Mutually complementing each other, the Life of St. Abramius of Galich, archival data and book descriptions clarified various details from the life of Matrona Kalistratova and her trace in the book culture of the Kostroma lands in the second third of the 17th century. The relatively large book contribution of the posadsky wife is a remarkable phenomenon in itself, as well as the fact that it became a commemoration that recorded the miraculous healing of the depositor on the relics of the saint.




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