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The Unintended Consequences of a Surge in Orthodox Pilgrimages in Late Imperial Russia

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Based on archival materials, this article explores the ways in which the Holy Trinity St. Sergius Monastery and Solovetskii monasteries at the turn of the twentieth century dealt with the challenges of serving increasing numbers of pilgrims, which ranged from security to public relations. Intent upon maintaining the strict regimens of their communities and raising the spiritual and national identities of worshipers, the abbots unsuccessfully tried to control pilgrims and pilgrimages. Individuals continued to flock to monastic institutions to satisfy their own spiritual and physical needs, bringing with them their human flaws and frailties.


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