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A Prodigal Saint

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About the Author

Nadieszda Kizenko is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Albany. She has contributed articles to Russian Review, Pravoslavnaia Rus', PSALM Notes, Russkoe Vozrozhdenie, and Peace and Change.


"Kizenko has given us a highly perceptive and eminently readable study of a man and a time that are easily misunderstood. . . . This is not a book for beginners; Kizenko presupposes some prior knowledge both of the Russian Church and Russian history. Her translations from the Russian are smooth and idiomatic, and considering the complexities of the subject, she is always clear. . . . Kizenko has set a standard that others in the field would do well to follow." --Peter Eaton, Anglican Theological Review "In the end I learned a great deal from this work, which to my mind has gone a long way toward explaining the endurance and transformation of supernatural authority in fin-de-siecle Russia." --Gary Marker, Slavic and East European Journal "In this beautifully written biography of Father John (Ioann Il'ich Sergiev) of Kronstadt (1829-1908), Nadieszda Kizenko presents a remarkably sensitive and balanced portrait of this central figure of the Orthodox Church in late imperial Russia. . . . Kizenko's biography demonstrates the power and importance of Orthodoxy and Orthodox religiosity at the end of the empire. . . . [A Prodigal Saint] will be a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in European Christianity." --Eugene Clay, Journal of Modern History "This book is part of a growing literature on one of the most important but neglected aspects of Imperial Russia. It offers us an understanding of a complex and charismatic figure and the world in which he operated. It helps break down many of the simplistic assumptions about religion and it sets Russia in its European context. It is a very welcome addition to the literature." --Shane O'Rourke, Journal of Religious History "This study is exemplary in its approach to the phenomenon of sanctity and, to my knowledge, the first one of such a scholarly caliber on Russian sanctity in particular. It is a 'must read' for anyone who would go beyond Dostoevsky's novels for an understanding of Russian Orthodoxy." --Arkadi Choufrine, Koinonia: The Princeton Theological Seminary Graduate Forum "Kizenko manages to intertwine biography, socio-political analysis, theological discussion and Church history to produce a clear and captivating book on a subject that has suffered from a dearth of academic attention." --Argyrios K. Pisiotis, H-Russia "A powerful and multidimensional portrait of the controversial Father John of Kronstadt, presented against the backdrop of Late Imperial religious life. Drawing on a rich source base, Kizenko offers an impartial and balanced interpretation of this pivotal figure. Reading this book is like stepping back into the world of a century ago, seeing the concerns, both material and spiritual, which occupied people's lives." --Eve Levin, Ohio State University

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