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Patrick Lally Michelson

Indiana University

A faculty member of Indiana University’s Department of Religious Studies, Patrick Lally Michelson is an intellectual historian of modern Russian Orthodoxy and, more broadly, modern European Christianity. His principal research explores the intersection of Christian theology, Russian public discourse, Orthodox culture, and the contest over what it meant to be Russian and Orthodox during Russia’s imperial period (1721–1917).

His monograph, Beyond the Monastery Walls: The Ascetic Revolution in Russian Orthodox Thought, 1814–1914 (2017), examines the ways in which asceticism became a term used by Orthodox churchmen, theologians, and lay thinkers to chart Russia’s movement toward (or deviation from) the kingdom of God, to distinguish Russia from the “West,” and to construct national-confessional identities in the century leading up to the First World War. His co-edited volume, Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia: Culture, History, Context (2014), brought together scholars from a variety of disciplines to consider the ways in which Orthodox Christianity shaped modern Russian history and culture.

Michelson regularly teach courses related to the history of Russian Orthodoxy, Christianity, modern European Christian thought, and the history of religious studies. I am also an affiliate faculty member of IU's Department of History, the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures, and Russian and East European Institute.

For a fuller description of his scholarship and interests, please see Michelson’s personal website.

View Articles:


Russian Orthodox Thought in the Church's Clerical Academies

Slavophile Religious Thought and the Dilemma of Russian Modernity, 1830–1860*