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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Confessionalization in a Multi-ethnic Empire

Confessionalization in a Multi-ethnic Empire

(p.396) 19 Confessionalization in a Multi-ethnic Empire
The Russian Empire 1450-1801

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter surveys the state’s policy towards non-Orthodox faiths and communities in the eighteenth-century empire, which reflected its overall policy of tolerance of difference. It considers Islam, Buddhism, Lutheranism, Catholicism, and Judaism. In each case the empire tried to identify institutions of connection with religious communities to facilitate communication and control by the imperial center. The various Christian sections already provided some form of religious hierarchy or ministerial ranks, but where they did not exist, Moscow created them, as in the new position of “Grand Mufti” (in the Middle Volga and Crimea) for the generally non-hierarchical Islam. Forced conversion efforts against Muslims occurred primarily in the Middle Volga, an area of strong Russian in-migration, and were violent but unsuccessful; that practice was ended with Catherine II’s Edict of Toleration (1773).

Keywords:   confessionalization, Islam, Kazan, Crimea, Middle Volga, Judaism, Edict of Toleration, Buddhism, Lutheranism, Catholicism

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