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Orthodox Alaska: A Theology of Mission based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I found it difficult to put down this wonderful account of the blending of Russian Orthodoxy with the holistic worldview of Native Alaskans. This volume presents an excellent overview of Orthodox Christianity and Native Alaskan beliefs, and how similar many of them are. The history of Alaska is recounted as well, from the discovery of the Aleutian Islands by Russian fur traders, to the spreading of the Gospel of Christ to the Native Peoples by gentle men and Saints of The Church such as Saint Herman and Saint Innocent Veniaminov. The history does not shy away from the evil perpetrated by various Russian colonizers of Alaska, nor does it paint the Orthodox Church as perfect, by any means. Attention is also given the later protestant missionaries, such as Sheldon Jackson, who viewed the Orthodox Christian Natives as worthless pagans, and declared that Orthodoxy would disappear from Alaska. Thankfully, he was wrong, and Orthodoxy flourishes today among a large segment of modern Alaskans. The book's account of the difficulties encountered by Alaska after the Russian Revolution is particularly poignant. All in all, an excellent book!