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Russian Missions to the Orthodox East: Antonin Kapustin (1817–1894) and his World

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This article investigates the Russian Orthodox presence and activities in Christianity’s sacred historical center of the Holy Land from the 1840s, when Russia expanded its consular activities in Palestine and began its first spiritual missions to this region, through the end of the nineteenth century. The article particularly centers on the active leadership of Archimandrite Antonin (Kapustin), who served as the leader of the Russian Ecclesiastical mission in Jerusalem from 1865 to 1894. A prodigious scholar of the Orthodox East, Antonin resourcefully developed a respected Russian presence in Palestine, raised substantial funds for the assistance of Russian pilgrims and for the accumulation of properties throughout the Holy Land, and continued his intensive studies and publications on the region’s history, archeology, and human geography. Frary illustrates how the archimandrite in these pursuits exhibited an impressive ability for flexible and sensitive adaptation to a non-Russian, non-Orthodox environment that was revealed in his own scholarly work and in his successes in constructing new regional centers of Orthodoxy in Palestine.

Affiliations: 1: Rider University,


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