Spiritual Christian History
In the seventeenth century, the national revival following the Time of Troubles was strongly religious in nature, but it was undermined by increasing contacts with a more secular West. Orthodoxy and Westernization were on a collision course. The decisive moment of the seventeenth century was the Old Believers’ schism in 1667. It involved a bitter controversy over the proper form of worship. Its key antagonists were Patriarch Nikon, a monk, and Archpriest Avvakum, a charismatic preacher. Their uncompromising positions deeply divided Russian society. In the context of a considerably weakened Church grew a powerful, secular state. By the end of the seventeenth century, clocks and calendars had replaced icons in some government offices. To the devout, these changes signaled the coming of the apocalypse. Out of this chaos emerged sectarians—those who refused to be Orthodox which was a felony, punishable with torture and imprisonment. — See many new postings at Molokane.org
Taxonomy of Molokane, Pryguny and Dukh-i-zhizniki
Definitions and descriptions of 3 faiths of Spiritual Christians. They have two categories of holidays — Christ's and God's. Every holiday is important, but the Molokane and Dukh-i-zhizniki each "reject half of our holidays" according to the Pryguny who celebrate all 10 holidays.
Heretics and Colonizers:
Religious dissent and Russian colonization of Transcausasia, 1830-1890 (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia)
1999 January—by Breyfogle, Nicholas Brenton, University of Pennsylvania, PHD Thesis, 387 pages, 1998. "This dissertation examines the settlement of Russian religious dissenters (Dukhobors, Molokans, and Subbotniks) in Transcaucasia from 1830 to 1890. During this period, tsarist officials promoted the relocation of sectarians (sektanty) to Transcaucasia—to the exclusion of other Slavs—in an effort to isolate their 'heretical infection' from Orthodox Russians." See new links to the first 24 pages, and purchasing information.
51 Letters between Tolstoy and Molokans—Russian edition $15 - English/Russian $25 soon
1999—August-September—51 hand-written letters between Count Leo Tolstoy and Molokan elder Fedor Aleksseevich Zheltov (photo, 51K) of Bogorodskoe (just south of Nizhnii Novgorod) were recently discovered by scholars helping the Doukhobors research information for this year's celebrations of the 100th anniversary of their migration from Russia. 37 of these letters are from Zheltov to Tolstoy, and 14 from Tolstoy to Zheltov. See sample handwritten letter sent 19 August 1895 from Tolstoy to Zheltov (298K, very large), and the envelope and transcription in Russian (368K, very large). Transcribing and typing the Russian handwritten script has taken months. The Russian version will be published in August. 300 copies are being donated, 2 for each Russian Molokan church. The project is a cooperative effort between the State L.N.Tolstoy Museum, Moscow, and the Slavic Research Group at the University of Ottawa. Canadian scholar John Woodsworth did the transcription and translation. The Highgate Road Social Science Research Station ( HRSSRS) is publishing the English translation version which will include all the Russian transcription and more information about the history of the Molokans at that time. 500 English translations are planned to be published based on advanced prepaid orders. Order the Russian with English translation ($25) or Russian only edition ($15) from: The Station, 32 Highgate Road, Berkeley CA 94707. Phones: 510-525-3248, or 800-378-9129. Fax: 510-525-3313. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Order the Russian-only version from: Professor Andrew Donskov, Co-ordinator, Slavic Research Group, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario Canada KIN 6N5; e-mail: SLAVICRE@uottawa.ca , Phone: (613) 562-5800.ext. 3749 or ext. 1007, Fax: (613) 562-5160 or 5138. (See the Russian version front cover (153K, large) and back cover (156K, large). Read the only review: Book Review: A Molokan's Search for Truth: The Correspondence of Leo Tolstoy and Fedor Zheltov by Dr. Joyce Story, Canadian Slavonic Papers, Jun-Sep 2001.
The Russians' Secret: What Christians Today Would Survive Persecution?
1999 — by Peter Hoover and Serguei V. Peterov — 247 pages — A comparison and contrast of Russian sectarian history from the Raskol (mid-1600s) to the beginning of WWII, focusing on how they learned from each other in Russia, particularly in the "Milky Waters" region of "New Russia" in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and their persecutions. Covers Spiritual Christians (Molokans, Jumpers, Spirit Wrestlers, Kissers, People of God, Nameless, Deserted, Flagellates, Baptists, ..), German transplants (Mennonites, Stundists, Hutterites, Anabaptists, ..), Old Believers and more. Molokans will find many pages referencing the Description of Beliefs and Teaching the Molokans, Maksim G. Rudometkin in Spirit and Life, Kudinov in Spiritual Christian", S.E. Ilyin in My Transcaucasian Russia, Harry Shubin in History of the Russan Molokan Spiritual Christian Jumpers' Faith, Anne Tolmasoff-Strubhar, Lev Tolstoy, and Ivan Prohkanov. $10.27 from Benchmark Press, 1593 Pinola Road, Shippensburg, PA 17257 — phone: 717-530-8595 — fax: 717-532-4974 — email: email@example.com — no credit cards.
Hilltop Russians in San Francisco: A Record of the Portrero Hill Colony
1941 — 30 color pastel waterpaintings by Pauline Vinson with introduction by William Saroyan
I first saw this rare book 20 years ago after a meeting of the Potrero Hill Historical Society. The owner, a local historian, paid $100 for it then. I've been looking for a copy ever since. During the 2000 new year holidays, Pacific Books auctioned a copy on-line. I got it for a bargain—$44. Other copies in the past sold for upto $350. I scanned the entire book and color-enhanced the faded water paintings. It shows Molokan life in San Francisco just before the war—dedushki, babushki, banya, a church wedding, the front of both the Prygun and Postianniye buildings, and, most significant to me, how Molokans prayed then—huddled in a tight circle, not like soldiers standing in rows as American Molokans do today. Enjoy.
5 Photos, 6 Speeches and 9 Songs of San Francisco Molokane in the 1930s
1938-40 — Similiar to Hilltop Russians, The WPA California Folk Music Project was funded to provide work after the depression. It was a joint effort of the Work Projects Administration (WPA), the Library of Congress, and the Music Division of the University of California, Berkeley. Social scientists documented 16 ethnic groups in California, including the Russian Molokans. The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, created a database to provide this historical material on the Internet.
"Russian Molokan congregation from Potrero Hill, San Francisco, performing unaccompanied sacred music and preaching in the Russian language. The Russian Molokans, also called Molokan Spiritual Jumpers, Spiritual Christians of the Sect of Jumper, or Milk Drinkers, were a Russian peasant group that dissented from the Russian Orthodox Church at least as far back as the seventeenth century. The Molokans came to California from the Transcaucausus in the early part of the twentieth century."
Change as Confirmation of Continuity As Experienced by Russian Spiritual Christians Molokans
Margarita Mazo, PhD, Ethnomusicologist, Music Department, Ohio State University, Canton, Ohio
In 1992, Dr. Mazo, the only Russian born and trained ethnomusicologist at an American university, visits a new Molokan village south of Moscow composed of refugees mainly from Armenia and Georgia. She describes a service with guests from the Molokan Center in Stavropol' and attempts by a young leader to preserve his religious culture after perestroika. Mazo later arranges for Russian and American Jumpers singers to meet in America, but the Jumpers refuse passing the invitation to the Constants.
An Annotated Secondary Bibliography of Writings from English-Language Sources, 1970-1997
1998 — Masters thesis — by Georgiev, Ludmil — University of Alaska Anchorage — The purpose of the present annotated bibliography is to provide a listing of English-language publications about Leo Tolstoy. It is directed at those who are interested in Tolstoy's life and work. The bibliography was compiled by searching the National Union Catalog, Library of Congress Catalogs, MLA International Bibliography (1970-present) and the Comprehensive Dissertation Index.
Boyle Heights Project Open
2002 Sept 8 (Updated: Nov 9, 2007) — Photos of 65 named Molokans are on display in Los Angeles at the Japanese American National Museum. I identified another 10 without names. See 45 Molokan-Jumper display items — photos, texts, videos, and singing on CD. I first reported on this Project in 2000, during planning, and a year late, it is now open for 6 months, until the end of February. Do you recognize these COs and their sailor buddies in front of the UMCA in 1943? There are over 1000 photos in the exhibit, so I cross-indexed every name alphabetically with location to help you find friends and relatives.
Glendale: Century of Diversity
1992 — An illustrated history by Dean Smith — published by the City of Glendale, Arizona
Celebrating the Glendale Centennial: 100 Years of Dreams, 1892-1992.
Chapter 2: The Convergence of Cultures — Pages 34-36 — [Among stories of Glendale's diverse founding nationalities (Chinese, Basque, Japanese, Hispanic, German, etc) and religions (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, etc.) is this page about the Russian Molokans.]
Russian Dictionary of Religions
Definition of Molokans, in Russian, use character set--Cyrillic Windows-1251
Russian History sites
A list of summaries and links to the best Russian history sites on the internet.
Check these out: — A Chronology of Russian History — The Khazars (Jews) — Modern Customs and Ancient Laws in Russia — Excerpts from The Code of Law of 1649 (Ulozhenie)
Excerpts from The Code of Law of 1649 (Ulozhenie),
Chapter l - Blasphemers and Heretics — The Basic Principles of 1862: The Judicial System, Glossary
The Russian Post-Emancipation Household: Two Villages in the Moscow Area
By Herdis Kolle
Master thesis in history, Department of History, University of Bergen, Bergen 1995. Explains the context of Russian peasant life in the mid-1800s, with useful terminology. Contents :
1. Introduction 2. The Russian Village 3. Historiography 4. Sources 5. Demography 6. The Peasant Family 7. Farmers and Craftsmen 8. Conclusion 9. Glossary 10. Bibliography
Russian Baptists and the Military Question, 1920-1929
"While the confessional position of the Baptist union before World War I had stated: 'We consider ourselves obliged to perform military service when the government demands it of us,'(8) not far below the surface of the official position ran a strong current in favor of pacifism. This propensity within the Baptist movement reflected the influence of the Mennonites and Molokans upon the Baptists in the south of Russia. Since the Mennonites had given aid to the Shtundist movement in Ukraine and the original Baptists of the Caucasus came out of Molokan communities, there were natural conduits through which pacifist sentiments could flow into Baptist ranks. Baptist relations with both Mennonites and Molokans remained close throughout the history of the Baptist union."
"... on 30 August 1921 the Commissariat of Justice ... told courts that exemption could be granted only to members of sects that had included refusal of military service among their obligatory dogmas prior to the revolution and whose members had been convicted and punished for that refusal by the tsarist government. Such sects included Dukhobors, Mennonites, Molokans and some Old Believers; but Baptists were not among them."
The Last Jumper in the Empire--Alksander Prokhanov
by Aleksander Dugin (in Russian). Text borrowed from The New Book.
Spiritual Christians in 1870s Russia
1905 — Russia, Chapter 17 — Among the Heretics — by Donald Mackenzie Wallace — Over period of thirty-five years, Wallace traveled Europe and Russia. In the 1870s he documented his long religous conversations with Molokans he met along the Volga, near Samara. I published this excellent historic chapter in my 1980 Molokan Directory, and just found the entire book on-line. He describes a false prophet Elija (Belozvorof), the Jumpers, Khlisti, and evaluates what he sees from his perspective. Chapter 17 is 35K, the entire book is about 1700K. Be patient if you don't have a fast connection.
California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties — Russian Molokans
National Library of Congress, American Memory--Historical Collections for the National Digital Library, 27 items. Digital photos, songs, and speeches recorded in the 1930s. The Russian Molokan congregation at Potrero Hill, San Francisco, performing unaccompanied sacred music and preaching in the Russian language. The Russian Molokans, also called Molokan Spiritual Jumpers, Spiritual Christians of the Sect of Jumper, or Milk Drinkers, were a Russian peasant group that dissented from the Russian Orthodox Church at least as far back as the seventeenth century. The Molokans came to California from the Transcaucausus in the early part of the twentieth century.
Spiritual Christian HomePage — Short Description and History
By A.J. Conovaloff — Molokans, like the Doukhobors, are sectarian Bible-centered Christians who evolved from Spiritual Christian Russian peasants who refused to join the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1600s. A Russian who was not Orthodox was "sectarian". During the 1800s both sects became widespread in Southern Russia. For insisting on religious freedom, many were persecuted by the Church and State, and many expelled to the Transcaucasus. By 1900, Molokans numbered over 100,000 in Russia. About 2,500 migrated to America just before the Russian Revolution.
Dukh-i-zhizniki in America
An update of Molokans in America by John K. Berokoff, Los Angeles California, 1969 — Web-published in 1998 after correcting the original for spelling and grammar, errors and omissions, enhancing with clarifications, and adding hyper-links and maps.
Kars Area Spiritual Christians
Go to Thumbnail Album if your computer and modem work fast. — 1939 Photos from Al Serguiff's journey from Los Angeles to find relatives. — 1960's Pictures from Turkdogan's Ph.D. Thesis Book — 1987 Photos by Anne (Tolmasoff) Strubar and daughter Rose, from Oregon.
A History of Spiritual Christians Molokans in Boyle Heights
by Marco, Roosevelt High School, Grade 12, May, 1998; from Boyle Heights: America In The Mirror, a "project .. to enable students to apply Social Studies skills, concepts, and themes to the study of local history and geography."
Also see: Historical Perspectives: Immigration and the Rise of a Distinctive Urban Region, 1900-1970, John H. M. Laslett, Ethnic Los Angeles, (New York: Russell Sage, 1996), pp. 39-75.
"The outstanding social fact of the early downtown era, however, which lasted from 1880 until the 1920s, was not social conflict and ethnic segregation but rather racial mixing and relative tolerance. Admittedly Chinatown, which had been founded in the late 1860s in the area around First and Main streets, was cut off from social and business interaction with the other parts of downtown. But along the edge of the Los Angeles River, behind the Plaza, many other ethnic groups lived side by side. Near the Plaza area, for example, was the city's largest Russian colony, consisting of several hundred émigré members of the Molokan religious faith. During the 1880s, nearby Boyle Heights became the center of a large, flourishing Jewish community, its focal point Brooklyn Avenue. Mixed in along the downtown streets were Italian groceries, African American blacksmith shops, Irish saloons, and German Turnvereine (gymnastics clubs). One commentator, noting several German breweries in the emerging Little Tokyo district, said that the area should have been called Little Berlin instead, because Germans "were the largest single nationality in the district."'
The Daily Life of the Household in Medieval Novogorod
1998 — PhD Thesis — by Berger, Jean Kathryn — University of Minnisota — This thesis is the first attempt to create a clear picture of the daily life of ordinary people in the medieval city of Novgorod, Russia from the tenth through the fifteenth centuries.
A Comparison of the Mennonite and Doukhbor Emigrations from Russia to Canada, 1870-1920
1998 — Masters thesis — by Swatzky, Robert John — Dalhousie University, Canada — This thesis examines two emigrations from Russia to Canada by members of the Mennonite and Doukhobor religious sects in the late nineteenth century. The first took place between 1874 and 1880, when roughly 17,000 Mennonites left their homes in southern Ukraine to establish new settlements in the western frontiers of North America. Included in this number was a contingent of about 7,000 who formed colonies in the southern regions of Manitoba, Canada, instead of settling with the majority of their fellow emigrants in the U.S. Midwest. The Doukhobor emigration involved approximately 7,400 sectarians from Transcaucasia who migrated to the Western Canadian territories of Assiniboia and Saskatchewan in the years 1898-99. This thesis recognizes an underlying cause for the two migrations which is rooted in the internal struggles of the two sects. [I ask why did the Molokans wait until 1904 to begin to leave? The legend of the Klubnikin prophesy was unknown by and did not influence the Mennonites or Doukhobors.]
The Wall of Faith
1998 — Masters thesis — by Birk, Thomas — California State university, Dominguez Hills — The purpose of this creative project is to show, through the life of a Pentecostal believer in the Soviet Union--Emilia Kolyvanova--the effect that Communism had upon the lives, religion, culture, and history of the people who survived those difficult years under its rule from 1917 to 1989.
The Most Dangerous Sect: Baptists in Tsarist and Soviet Russia, 1905-1929
1998 — PhD thesis — by Coleman, Heather Jean — University of Illinois at Ubana-Champaign — This study explores a period of profound religious searching, possibility, and change in Russia through the prism of the Baptists, the fastest growing non-Orthodox religious movement among Russians in the early twentieth century.
Homeland, Diaspora and Nationalism:
The Reimagination of American-Armenian Identity Since Gorbachev
1998 — PhD thesis — by Gakavian, Armen — University of Sydney, Australia — This thesis discusses the evolution of modern Armenian territorial nationalism, beginning with the annexation of Eastern Armenia by Russia in 1828. It focuses on the impact of the homeland and of the diaspora-homeland relationship on Armenian diasporan identity. In particular, it analyses the response of the American-Armenian community to recent events in Armenia, and the impact of these events on that community.
Marriage, Gender, Family and the Old Believer Community, 1760-1850
1998 — Phd thesis — by Korovushkina, Irina — University of Essex, UK — The present work is a study of the impact of the Schism (1656-68) on the social development of Russia. It is concerned with religious community and gender, marriage and family among Old Believers.
Public Identities in Catherinian Russia: The Free Economic Society, 1765-1775
1998 — PhD thesis — by Leckey, Colum — University of Pittsburg — Founded in 1765, the Free Economic Society was imperial Russia's most prestigious agricultural society and first free secular association. ... the principal obstacle to establishing an autonomous public in Russia was not the political dominance of the autocracy and state institutions, but rather the servile agrarian regime itself. ... the Society became an institutional ornament of Russia's Enlightenment, ineffective both as a vehicle of agricultural improvement and a mouthpiece of the educated public.
The Russian Religion Law: Freedom of Religion or Freedom from Religion?
1998 — Masters thesis — by Regule, Christina Ann — Regent University — This study analyzes the 1997 Russian Federation Religion Law, On Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Associations, based on the 1993 Russian Federation Constitution and international agreements. In this law, not all 'religious associations' in Russia have their inalienable human rights preserved. Instead, 'religious groups' in Russia do not enjoy the same fundamental freedoms and privileges protected for 'religious organizations.' See the first 24 pages.
The Aftermath of Trauma and Immigration:
Detections of Multigenerational Effects on Mennonites Who Emigrated from Russian to Canada in the 1920s
1998 — Doctoral thesis in Psychology — by Reynolds, Lunda Klassen — California School of Professional Psychology - Fresno — This study compared the scores of Mennonites who emigrated from Russia to Canada during 1920 to 1929, and the scores of second and third generations Mennonites with the norms on the MMPI-2 and Personal Experience Questionnaires. The purpose of the study was to investigate the psychological effects of trauma and immigration on the first generation, and to determine if transmission of these symptoms was occurring across generations. Questionnaire data revealed that both the second and third generations strongly value the Mennonite identity and Pacifism. The second generation reported both negative and positive aspects resulting from being raised according to Mennonite values. As a group, the third generation strongly endorsed the positive influence of their grandparents and their desire to be more informed about their experiences.
Ways of Russian Theology — Chapter 5: Struggle for Theology
by Georges Florovsky — "By statute and design the Bible Society was to embrace all confessions, so that all "confessions" might be represented in the Society as equally possessed by the sanctity of God's Word. ... Very often religious toleration and the principle of equality of all confessions became metamorphosed as patronage for sectarians, especially for the Dukhobors and Molokans, but even for the Skoptsy." — "Shishkov [incorrectly] suspected that this separate publication [Pentateuch] had been conceived and executed in order to push the common people into the arms of the Molokane heresy or simply into Judaism." — "Makarii ... prayed with the "Spiritual Children" (the Molokans), and found that the light of God's illumination glowed in their warm faith."
Chapter 4: The St. Petersburg Revolution
"The second half of the century also marked an increasing dreaminess and mysticism among the people. All of the basic Russian sects- the Khlysty, Skoptsy, Dukhobors, and Molokans developed during those years. In the Alexandrine age, these two currents, the mysticism of the lower and the higher classes in many ways converged, thereby revealing their inner affinity. They shared precisely that "anguish of the spirit" which was by turns dreamy or ecstatic."
Also see the notes to chapter 4 — numbers 138 Khlysty),139 (Skopsy), 140 (Dukhobors), 141 (Molokans)
(Link thanks to Bill Rushby who found this at: MYRIOBIBLOS: The eText Library of the Church of Greece)
See also Molokan and Jumper NEWS
Molokans and Jumpers Around the World