This chapter surveys varieties of belief in the Orthodox world in Russia in the eighteenth century. Under the influence of Ukrainian-trained clerics and Enlightenment values Orthodox bishops developed a more dynamic approach to spirituality, but as an institution the Church did not accomplish needed reforms to improve parish life and pastoral care; the parish clergy became a closed social class with inadequate training. Adherents to the Church Schism of the 1660s splintered into many communities according to interpretations of faith. Most subsisted in the borderlands of empire and generally followed one of two approaches to religious organization. Some maintained sacramental life and a priesthood by relying on foreign Orthodox bishops to consecrate new priests, while the “priestless” communities relied on lay ministers and developed a non-sacramental lay liturgy. While Old Believers benefited from Catherine II’s relative toleration, the Orthodox Church and Russian state remained implacable against the Uniate Church in Ukrainian and Belarus’an lands.
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